Posted by Tim Ireland at January 13, 2009

Category: Consume!

I’d like you to meet Tom, who has started his own South West Trains diary. Good luck to you, Tom!

I should maybe restart with one of my own; on Monday I witnessed a train splitting and one half departing Guildford station without a shunter or platform guard present. I would’ve complained at the manager’s office, but it was empty.

The shunters were, according to a peeved driver, in the staff room playing Xbox or something; they certainly weren’t being held up on any of the other platforms or doing any work.

I called the SWT helpline… and they didn’t believe me!

Bunch. Of. Jobsworths.

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 13, 2009

Category: Tony 'King Blair

As reported by the BBC and in the Guardian, Times and Daily Mail, Tony Blair received his Medal of Freedom today, but did not receive his long-delayed* Congressional Gold Medal at the same ceremony.

(*Phew, I almost said ‘overdue’ then; like he was actually due anything other than a war crimes trial.)

He may yet receive the additional medal in a further charade in Washington, but until that second medal appears the results of this competition cannot be announced.

However… while we wait to discover what is actually on the medal, we do have what appears to be a pretty clear indication in a hopefully-accurate report from this previously-trusted newspaper:

Independent – Unveiled at last: Tony Blair, medallion man: The medal – unlike the standard Ruritanian presidential medal of freedom that Mr Blair will receive from his old buddy George Bush on Tuesday – allows the recipient “input” into its design. This may, in the case of Britain’s own pretty straight kinda guy, have been a mistake. The design features, on the reverse, a pair of clasped hands symbolising the closeness of two allies who shared even the same brand of toothpaste. On the obverse is a quotation from a speech Mr Blair made to Congress in July 2003. This circles a likeness of the former prime minister, which is approximately right, save for the shock of Bill Clintonesque hair. It was aspects of this medal’s design that ruffled the shirt front of the US Commission of Fine Arts, and prompted its secretary, one Thomas E Luebke, to write to the US Mint. In a letter dated 28 November 2008, he wrote: “The commission members expressed dissatisfaction with the design of the medal honouring Mr Blair and requested that it be revised and resubmitted, commenting that his likeness on the proposed obverse is awkward and does not convey his vitality. They emphasised that the direct adaptation of a photograph – the method used to generate this design – is not appropriate for developing numismatic sculpture… For the reverse, the commission questioned the inclusion of several elements of equal prominence, suggesting that the clasped hands be deleted.” The response of the Mint – which has the final say – is not known, but it is understood that the final look of the medal will be close to that illustrated here.

Those who are (theoretically) in the lead on the accuracy front are those with suggestions that Blair would put his own face on it, his own words, and/or some form of religious statement – with the last option depending a great deal on the context in which the “clasped hands” are presented, if indeed they appear at all.

(Psst! In other news, Little Johnnie Howard has ideas well above his previously-held station.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 13, 2009

Category: Consume!

Craig Murray has stuck two fingers up at Schillings and Tim Spicer and offered his latest book as a free download. He has even invited others to host the relevant file and repeat the offer, ensuring that by now the cat is out of the bag, over the horizon, and busy multiplying.

Details are here if you need them.

I am going to humbly submit that those who can afford to do so actually buy a copy from Craig, and you can do so here.

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 13, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Bournemouth Echo – Website praise for Bournemouth councillor comes from… councillor!: ‘Omegaman’ is registered with an address containing Cllr Grower’s name, which does not appear to other readers. When contacted, Cllr Grower initially suggested several people had access to his computer and said: “It could be anybody. It could be me, it could be Santa Claus.” But he later said: “I have done nothing against the law. And probably next time I will just use a different pseudonym.” Cllr Grower said responsibility lies with the Daily Echo because people can post under assumed names, and that the comments were only fun that no-one took seriously. When asked if his approach was appropriate given his public role, he claimed members of other parties did the same.

So first he tries to bullshit his way out of it, and then he issues a haughty “So what?”

For some reason I’m reminded of nuisance caller and sock-puppeting loser Phil “I meant to do that!” Hendren.

Labour Councillor Ben Grower, like councillor-wannabe and chick-magnet ‘Dizzy’ Hendren, will no doubt from this day forward be *outraged* if/when anyone even suspects that anonymous sock-puppets defending his corner or launching an attack from it are in fact his own creation(s), but I’m sure he can continue to offset this with repeated claims that everyone else is at it.

(Thank you Toby for the heads-up.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 13, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Putting aside for the moment Derek Draper’s greatly misguided decision to learn at the feet of self-proclaimed masters of the medium Iain Dale and Paul Staines (while touching briefly on what he has clearly learned about comment moderation censorship from these two), there is this, and it’s pretty monumental as errors of judgement go:

LabourList – Contacting us, policies and statements

Legal policy

We remove comments in line with our moderation and comments policy but anyone who wants to report anything they deem to be offensive or a potential libel or copyright infringement should contact us immediately and the relevant comment or post will be reviewed for removal.

All content is viewed and used by you at your own risk and we do not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any of the information. The views expressed are those of the individual contributors and not necessarily those of LabourList.

In extremis, problems can also be referred to our lawyer:

John Kelly
41 Bedford Square

Telephone 020 7034 9000
Fax 020 7034 9200

24 hour emergency number 07711 715345

DX Number 89265 (Soho Square 1)

(Heads-up via Rumbold and Sam Coates.)

Any blogger who knows anything about the UK political scene knows that Schillings have repeatedly and spectacularly disgraced themselves on the ‘fair and free speech’ front; they are in the habit of bullying people into silence while refusing to allow them their day in court.

Derek Draper cannot possibly be fully aware of that, otherwise he would know that this is like walking into a cockerel’s cocktail party with Colonel Sanders on your arm.

Here’s the comment regarding this that I submitted to LabourList under Mandelson’s posted assurances that they are all about open debate and not top-down control. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that it has been marked as ‘trash’ by those at the top and ignored.

Mr Mandelson,

It’s obvious why you specifically have been chosen to pitch this claim of openness, and it’s a cunning stunt, but the assurances are undermined somewhat by the choice of Schillings as legal representatives:

It is fair that those who say something actionable should be subject to action, but Schillings have been involved in cases where bloggers have been silenced by that firm’s tactics without fair/any recourse to law (most notorious example; their bullying of anyone carrying Craig Murray’s allegations while having no intention to take Murray to court over his allegations).

This decision also reflects poorly on Mr Draper, who strikes me as a man struggling to understand a community he wishes to infiltrate. Was he seriously not aware of Schillings’ reputation throughout the UK political blogging community?

Tim Ireland @ 3:25 pm, Mon 12th Jan 2009

I’ve emailed Draper and asked how the above comment qualifies as “grossly unintelligent or obtuse” or a troll, but so far I’ve heard nothing back.

UPDATE (12pm) – Derek Draper has finally responded… to ask if I was being serious! Yes, I would think I’m being serious about the complete removal of my website and nearly a dozen others (more) over allegations that Schillings and their client still refuse to challenge in court. FFS, he’s completely without a clue.

UPDATE (1pm) – Now Draper is insisting that he is not accountable to me. So he accepts comments, but refuses accountability – and here I will remind you again that he learned what little he knows by watching Dale and Staines in action. Nowhere is this influence more obvious than in his stated policy that those who are unhappy about this state of affairs should essentially ‘get their own blogs’ and make their case there. In other words, if you’re not happy that your question was refused or shouted down at a public meeting, you’re invited to go outside and hold your own meeting. Nice.

UPDATE (6pm) – He’s been dodging my question all day (i.e. how does my comment qualify as “grossly unintelligent or obtuse” or a troll?), but has finally resorted to insisting that my concerns are unimportant, because I’m of no significance to him. In his own words;

“i am building a site for 60 million people, not 60 bloggers.” – Derek Draper

Not full of himself, is he? Oh, and he’s only just realised that I’m a blogger, BTW. The penny dropped a few minutes ago.

So, the good news for your average weblog reader without a weblog is that Derek will suggest that you get your own blog if you don’t like the self-serving censorship on LabourList… but even if you don’t do this, he will treat you with the same level of contempt that any established blogger* would enjoy. Great, huh?

(*Except for Iain Dale and Paul Staines, who he is desperate to impress. The mimicry alone makes that clear.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 12, 2009

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

1. The Sun’s article claiming that ‘top jews’ were being targeted by Muslims (that was in fact based on forum comments written by their quoted terrorism ‘expert’ posing as a Muslim) has been removed [404] from The Sun’s website without explanation.

2. Before their Jenvey-reliant article was withdrawn this morning, it carried 74 comments. The article carried 74 comments before it was discovered that it was based on fraudulent comments made by their quoted ‘expert’, and it carried 74 comments after it was discovered that it was based on fraudulent comments made by their quoted ‘expert’. In other words, no comments were published that would give any indication that something might be wrong with the story.

Below are the two comments I submitted, and the time/date of submission. These comments were not published.

The Sun were aware that something was wrong with the story, and they were specifically aware of the evidence proving exactly what was wrong with the story… and yet they refused to engage under comments, or even publish the questions/challenges that they still refuse to answer.

Comment submitted @ 15:13 on 08-01-2009 (and not published):

Misrepresentation of content aside, what do you say to the allegations that the key comments you condemn in this story were actually submitted to the forums by (a) a freelance journalist (b) who isn’t really a Muslim?

I can offer clear evidence of the latter if you feel you need it. The forum authors will already have been in touch about the former, I’m sure.

Comment submitted @ 22:38 on 08-01-2009 (and not published):

I now have evidence that the forum entries you express the most concern about here were actually written by Glen Jenvey. Do you have any response to that, or will you be discarding this comment also?

The Sun: no comment

Newspapers: Don’t purport to accept comments if you plan to refuse any meaningful criticism or scrutiny or, like pseudo-blogging losers ranging from David Miliband to Paul Staines, you will be cheating your readers by giving the impression that a channel for accountability exists where it is in fact refused outright.

Try an ‘applause’ button instead, and stop pretending to be something that you’re not.

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 10, 2009

Category: Video

UPDATE – Actually, I’ve changed my mind. Let’s go here instead:

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 9, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

I almost didn’t enter or plug this competition because of the money they put in Staines’ pocket via a MessageSpace ad, but I figured it’d be a pretty poor competition without any real art… and I know of several people ’round our way who make good art with the words and like that.

So (a) I’ve entered, and (b) here is the plug, so you can consider entering yourself:

The Orwell Prize – SPECIAL PRIZE for blogs

Running alongside the Book Prize and Journalism Prize this year, submissions… close on 14th January 2009, for all work published for the first time in the calendar year 2008… The Orwell Prize rewards those who achieve George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. Entries should therefore be of equal excellence in style and content.

So, fellow bloggers, you have until next Wednesday to browse through your archives and come up with 10 entries that best indicate how jolly talented and clever you are.

Don’t be shy, now.

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 9, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

WARNING: There’s a gang of thugs on the loose that like to use personal data as a tool for bullying. It’s less a massive conspiracy, and more of a ‘bad neighbourhood’; the result of a poor moral/debating standard that’s common throughout most of the right-wing blogosphere in the UK. Standing conspicuously at the centre of it all is the website of Paul Staines and the comments he runs like an open sewer… where personal attacks and multiple personality shenanigans are widespread and openly tolerated until someone dares lay a blow on the author (or something/someone he supports).

Allow me to show you (for the umpteenth time) what this kind of thing leads to:

Tory activists associated with Conservative MP Anne Milton tried it on me. At least one of the people involved in that incident was a self-proclaimed fan of the ‘Guido Fawkes’ website, active in the comments, and both were fans of using sock-puppets to attack opponents.

‘Top’ Tory blogger Phil Hendren tried it on me. He also is a long-time comment contributor to the ‘Guido Fawkes’ website, and a fan of using sock-puppets to attack opponents.

Paul ‘Guido Fawkes’ Staines tried it on me himself once in his own special way (with Donal Blaney’s help); he’s even made creepy “back off and you won’t get hurt” type comments in the direction of people he thinks I am married to. Paul Staines is also highly adept in the use of sock-puppets to assault and silence critics (and has been caught red-handed in a personal sock-puppeting, defending himself while pretending to be somebody else, the sad bastard).

And now we have this:

Old Holborn – Blog closed and GONE

This is my last post

Today, a fellow Libertarian decided to post my name , address, email address, business address, photo of me and my children on the web. Because he was angry with me over my stand on Israel.

Tonight, my wife and family have read the consequent death threats and insults to them that have poured in and asked me to close this blog.

Many people now know where I live, where my children go to school, how I earn my crust and I will not put my family at any further risk.

So I am closing my blog.

It has been fun, I have thoroughly enjoyed it but now I must think of me and mine.

I thank all of you for your support.

I will be deleting this blog in 5 days time from now. They won. I knew they would.

The douche bag that published links to OH’s personal data was ‘Obnoxio The Clown’.

Both ‘Old Holborn’ and ‘Obnoxio The Clown’ are regular comment contributors to… the ‘Guido Fawkes’ website.

In fact (and some people are struggling to have sympathy with the chap because of this) it was on the ‘Guido Fawkes’ website as well as his own that ‘Old Holborn’ showed his willingness to name names and publish photos and other personal data relating to the Baby P case… in violation of a court order, no less. A difference in scale, one might argue, but not of principle.

(Paul Staines would love to pass this off as an ‘everyone stops at Waterloo station’ thing in order to duck responsibility and/or deflect negative attention away from the two-bit banner advertising network that benefits from the resulting page-load overloads, but the brutal truth of it is that Phil ‘Dizzy’ Hendren and ‘Obnoxio The Clown’ are key comment contributors on his site, and often the first in line willing to kick heads when Staines feels he can’t defend himself on his own damn ‘blog’. Staines also likes to claim that he’s been the victim of personal data bullying himself, but it is hard to tell how much of what he claims is truth when he is an almost-unrivalled bullshit artist to begin with, will scream ‘stalker’ at the drop of a hat, and leaves a mysterious money trail directly involving an unknown number of relatives for reasons that are still unclear.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 8, 2009

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, The Political Weblog Movement

Let’s begin by going back to the Sun non-story that prompted this initial post:

The Sun – Islamic fanatics name Alan Sugar, Mark Ronson and Lord Levy in a hit list of Britain’s leading Jews: British anti-terror expert Glen Jenvey is convinced online forum Ummah is being used to prepare a deadly backlash against UK Jews. His warning came as Europe was hit by anti-Semitic attacks over Israel’s push into the Gaza Strip…. Mr Jenvey, 43, said: “The Ummah website has been used by extremists. “Those listed should treat it very seriously. Expect a hate campaign and intimidation by 20 or 30 thugs.”

It would now appear that this entire non-story actually began with Glen Jenvey feeding an unknown quantity of information to the Sun ‘news’ paper. Glen Jenvey bills himself in this bio as a ‘freelance terror investigator’, is described in this article as a ‘freelance intelligence agent’, and is described in his Wikipedia entry (that he regularly edits himself) as a former spy who now “uses the internet to infiltrate terrorist organisations.”

Search for his name in Google News and poke around ‘all years’, and you’ll see his name attached to quite a few terror-alert stories, with highlights including this one, which has a lovely Christmas theme throughout, and this ‘New Year’ warning in the Sun that is very recent indeed.

I would go into more detail (there is lots!) but for now, all you need is this and possibly the knowledge that some of Glen’s past exploits have – according to reports from his supporters – resulted in warnings and “threats of arrest” from the authorities.

Now, the Sun have in this article based their claim of militant Muslims targeting “Britain’s leading Jews” on comments made by ‘abuislam’, specifically in this passage:

“Abuislam” asks: “Have we got a list of top Jews we can target? Can someone post names and addresses?”

Though the Sun suggests otherwise, the only forum contributor pushing for anything other than a polite letter-writing campaign (details here) is posting under the name ‘abuislam’…. and I’m looking at evidence right now that strongly indicates that Glen Jenvey and ‘abislam’ are one and the same person.

In other words, he has created the very ‘militant’ content that the Sun has based their story on.

Further, in his quote he warns those listed to take the threat very seriously and to “expect a hate campaign and intimidation by 20 or 30 thugs”… when he was the one who listed them, and was the only person talking about doing anything other than writing letters!

And, even if (BIG ‘if’) this was done in error somehow, Glen Jenvey hasn’t done anything I can see to correct it.

Here’s the detail:

A forum administrator at announced today that the ‘abuislam’ account was created by the same person who created an earlier account in the name of ‘Richard Tims’. They have documented proof of this in their back end.

The ‘Richard Tims’ account was used only to plug the website previously hosted at capture by linkmarket.netThe publication of this link appears to have been part of a July/August 2008 campaign by that site’s owner to improve the site’s performance in Google).

Two of the places used to generate inbound links just happen to be two sites that Glen Jenvey shares a bit of history with; (“Islamic stories wanted by the media world wide why not sell your story for cash”) and Lionheart (“Any hot news on islamic British based terrorist’s earn cash from”), but the clincher is this August 2008 link where he is listed as site owner (highlight mine):

ID: 2815
Title: Sell Your Story –
Pagerank: 0
Description: sell your story sellyourstory sell your story sell your photos sell your videos
Category: Business & Economy: News and Media
Link Owner: glen jenvey
Date Added: July 28, 2008 01:35:11 AM
Number Hits: 0

Similar listings with the same data can be seen here and here.

If Glen Jenvey really is a former spy, I would venture a guess that he was forced to retire because he wasn’t very good at it.

If his current job is sneaking around on Teh Internets, then I would even go so far as to suggest he’s not very good at that, either.

Judging by the way his websites keep getting excluded from Google and withdrawn from service, he should probably stay out of the SEO game, too.

Oh, and there’s also the small matter of the Sun basing a front page claim on – and quite possibly paying Glen Jenvey for – a warning about militant(ish) postings that he wrote himself.

Perhaps Mr Glen Jenvey would care to explain what’s going on here.

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