Posted by Tim Ireland at December 19, 2008

Category: Consume!

I hope Debenhams release Santa from his contract before Christmas Eve, or there are going to be lots of disappointed boys and girls around the world.

Posted by Tim Ireland at December 18, 2008

Category: Old Media

Five Chinese Crackers – Smellyface Christmas, Everybody! (via)

Eric the Fish – More Fairy Tales

LeftieHippie – Richard Littlejohn and Google Maps

Even though he’s got it wrong, is lying, or is just making stuff up for most if not all of his ‘war on Christmas’ list, Richard Littlejohn enjoys a safely censorious comments environment where scrutiny is frowned upon or ignored (if it is published at all) and mindless applause and reinforcement is the order of the day, so he’s unlikely to be slowed by anything so banal as reality.

Still, if you can draw the BNP crowd and cash in on them without going so far as to sign up for a spiffy uniform yourself, where’s the harm, eh?

(Hm. For some reason, I’m reminded of another right-wing populist and confirmed liar.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at December 15, 2008

Category: Updates

Camera in a Guy’s Head has been a ‘featured’ video at YouTube (UK) for a couple of days now. Views are in their tens of thousands and comments in their hundreds. I’m still having trouble understanding the purpose of some of the comments some people will make on YouTube (example), but it’s kind of nice all the same. (Cheers to BenSix for the heads-up.)

– My next video (on the subject of sock-puppetry) will most probably be on Vimeo, BTW. The animation insists on being unexpectedly awesome, and it’ll require resolution that YouTube can’t deliver. And more time. Like ‘not before Christmas’ time.

– Lame/duck interface: Person in Iraq throws shoes at Bush (via). Bush tells us it’s no big deal*. Even the security services seem quite relaxed about it. So we’re allowed to throw shoes at him now. He’s quick enough to dodge them, he won’t be fazed by it and burly men won’t leap on top of you and/or shoot you in the back of the head several times if you try it. Trust me on this; Bush will be disappointed if he thinks up all those great shoe jokes for nothing. And do be quick about it, as you have less than 36 days in which conk the noggin while it’s still worth a full 50 points.

(*He doesn’t know or he doesn’t care, or he doesn’t care who thinks he doesn’t know or doesn’t care.)

Respect, office, yadda yadda yadda (#1)

Respect, office, yadda yadda yadda (#2)

Rebekah Wade is flirting with mob justice again. Perhaps even invisible mob justice.

More tabloid fun here.

But, sadly, there’s no outrage from tabloids over this. (Maybe if the miners had been famous pop singers or attractive teenage girls…?)

– This on the Menezes verdict (via Septicisle):

“Princess Diana, killed in a car crash – unlawful killing. Six passengers and four crew killed when a man drives his Land Rover off the M62 on to the Selby rail line – unlawful killing. Man throws his son from the roof of a Greek hotel – unlawful killing. A UK soldier is killed in Iraq when a US pilot opens fire on him – unlawful killing. BBC journalist Kate Peyton shot – unlawful killing. Two policemen shoot an innocent man seven times in the head on a train in front of witness who say no warning was given – not unlawful killing. Could someone please explain?” – Dan Tanzey – Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire

– Yes, I’ve seen the mention of Paul Staines in Private Eye, but Paul doesn’t want to talk about that. Or anything else. Sorry, Alex.

Posted by Tim Ireland at December 9, 2008

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, UK Libel Law

Psst! I’m over here this morning.

Oh, and here’s a little something for Alex Hilton, who claims to have missed the whole Usmanov thing; a video I made at the time, but neglected to release…

UK Libel Law (explained in post-it notes)

There’s a newer and far funkier animation on the way (on the subject of sock-puppetry).

Oh, and if I can figure a way to write about it without some idiot throwing his idiot laywer at me, there will one day soon be an opaque post (containing tedious detail) that reflects on the issues of unmoderated user-generated content and profitability, and where these two issues might intersect in the most mysterious ways.

Posted by Tim Ireland at December 8, 2008

Category: George W. Bush

As much I’d love to bring you an opaque post full of tedious detail, this is all you get today; Mr Popularity strikes again…

YouTube – Who wants to stand next to the President for a picture?

Posted by Tim Ireland at December 5, 2008

Category: Christ..., Old Media, The War on Stupid, UK Libel Law, Updates

I don’t think the good people at the Mirror really thought this one through:

Please see Septicisle for some thoughtful words on this topic.

– Also worth reading is Jean-Charles de Menezes summed up (via)

– While I remain deeply unimpressed with Alex Hilton, I will happily publicise this predicament and (*gasp*) maybe even pay attention to what is going on.

Encouraging news on the Nigerian witch hunt front.

You’ll want to read this article on torture, even though it contains few surprises.

Posted by Tim Ireland at December 3, 2008

Category: Tories! Tories! Tories!

Why are the Tories trying to convince everyone that there’s meat in the shit-sandwich they should be eating?

Rheotrical question, obviously.

Justin McKeating – V for Vacuity
Anton Vowl – Well yes, when you look at it that way…
Unity – The Purloined Policy… <--- long but potentially quite important Paulie – David Davies – refusing to co-operate?

Iain Dale has not been able to show any substance behind his feigned outrage here and here. Challenges to his declaration that “…to most people nowadays, the word ‘grooming’ has only one connotation and it’s related to paedophilia” have been ignored or dismissed.

You may also ‘enjoy’ Richard Littlejohn as he defies the British police state from within his gated community in Miami and waves Dr David Kelly’s corpse around like a weapon.

(On the latter point, Littlejohn describes Kelly as being hounded to death “for telling the truth about Iraq’s non-existent nuclear weapons”… but this the same man who, when at the Sun, dismissed a million people with doubts about WMD claims as selfish, naive peaceniks.)

UPDATE – They are so outraged, they can barely stop themselves… from smirking?! (via)

(Psst! First face I noticed in the footage was that of notorious sock-puppeteer Grant Shapps. I’m amazed that Cameron still has this clown in his cabinet.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at December 3, 2008

Category: UK Libel Law

David Semple – Bloggers against libel: help Alex Hilton


David T – Defend Alex “Recess Monkey” Hilton


Iain Dale – “Some people may think I have lost my marbles when they read this post…”


Alex Hilton – HELP! Please read


Erm… no.

More details below the fold for those who need them:

[ —————— FOLD —————— ]


Posted by Tim Ireland at December 1, 2008

Category: Tories! Tories! Tories!

BBC – Row over Green ‘grooming’ claims: Senior Tories are furious that police who arrested MP Damian Green accused him of “grooming” a Home Office mole to leak him information… When police questioned Mr Green – the shadow immigration minister – they are said to have suggested to him that he had not “simply received leaked” information but “groomed” a civil servant who had allegedly passed him 20 confidential documents. The man, who has been named in newspapers, was a Conservative activist who is believed to have previously applied for jobs in Mr Green’s office. There was Tory anger over the police’s use of the controversial term “groomed” because it is usually used in relation to child sex offences.

Oh, spare me.

What possible reason could the police have to avoid using this word? I mean, apart from the selective hypersensitivity of Conservatives looking to gain recently-lost ground. (Oh, and perhaps mask a bit of misconduct, eh gents?)

FFS, they’re charging about all over the place like hysterical pepperpots; there are causes for concern in this case, but this isn’t one of them.

Don’t wave a six of clubs in my face if you’re trying to convince me that you’re holding a royal flush.

Footnote about a footnote: the following was said about Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) recently in relation to another matter, but it certainly applies here;

“Footnote: it’s always enjoyable to catch Guido Fawkes in a tizz, the insouciant mask of worldly, non-partisan cynicism dropping as the Tories get into difficulty.” – Michael White

See also: One of the shoutier wannabes from the Paul Staines stable declaring that the alleged mole had been somehow ‘disappeared’ as part of this “audatious” act.

MINI-UPDATE – Another example, and this time we are spelled for spoiling errors. Are these the “window liquors lickers” that Paul Staines speaks of when lamenting the sorry sewer-like state of his comments?

Related Bloggage:
Justin McKeating – That poor oppressed ruling class again
Jim Bliss – Tories living in Stalinist Britain
Septicisle – Green and a very suddenly established police state
This and more in a blogging round-up at Liberal Conspiracy

Teh (Alleged) Mole:
The Daily Pundit – Home Office mole, Chris Galley, claims Damian Green offered him inducements
Telegraph – Damian Green arrest: Chris Galley profile

[Psst! It may be a quiet one this week. A new animation is on the way. That, and I’m being paid by a Stalinist state to keep schtum.]

UPDATE (3:30pm) – Proof, if you need it, that the grooming ‘smear’ is only in the public domain because the Tories brought it into the open and presented it as a smear:

The Times – Damian Green is accused of orchestrating up to 20 leaks: In a welter of briefings from police, ministers, civil servants and Commons officials, the most incendiary came from a senior Conservative who said that Mr Green was accused of “grooming his contact” during his nine-hour detention on Thursday. “Damian was very angry at this clear attempt to provoke him and did not reply. As a party we want to make it clear that this was grossly inappropriate but symptomatic of the cack-handed way the police have conducted this investigation.”

Independent – Arrested MP accused of ‘grooming’ mole: The Conservative MP Damian Green was accused by police of “grooming” a Home Office mole. The accusation came during nine hours of questioning by police investigating at least 20 leaks of secret documents from the department. As details of the investigation emerged, the shadow Immigration minister told friends he was livid that detectives resorted to “provocative” language used to describe sex offenders and suicide bombers.

Somehow, this became a Telegraph headline “Damian Green accused of ‘grooming’ Whitehall mole, claim police” when there is, in fact, no such claim from the police in that article or in any other that I can find; everything comes back to what unnamed sources close to Green have been saying.

The (alleged) accusation of Damian Green ‘grooming’ Chris Galley (for any purpose) is only in the public domain because Green and his supporters chose to bring it into the public domain, and they made damn sure that they and associated it with sex offenders and/or suicide bombers when they did so.

Either the police are devilishly clever in the way they go about smearing someone (and in the habit of leaving a lot to chance when they do so) or this ‘outrage’ has been feigned and fabricated by the Conservatives in order to draw attention away from some or all of the police investigation.

[Psst! Peek in comments for a link to Iain Dale’s contribution.]

UPDATE – Or click here, I suppose.

Posted by Tim Ireland at November 27, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

You might initially think that this issue pales into insignificance next to the million assumptions that simply must be made immediately about matters in Mumbai today, but I for one believe that the reliability of information is important across the political spectrum, and identity is often key to this online.

Take, for example, the comments about Andrew Gilligan and/or his articles that would look very different once confirmed to be from Andrew Gilligan or one of his close associates.

Take, as another example, the many newspapers desperate to belittle blogs and bloggers while simultaneously scrambling to get in on the action, and their typical approach to comment moderation; (refuse substantial criticism no matter where it comes from, and publish almost any damn thing that doesn’t harm them specifically… no matter where it comes from).

Most bloggers who have been talking about the Andrew Gilligan matter recently may have noticed a number of trolls seemingly designed to confuse the issue and mock concerns about the use of multiple false identities in the political arena.

Most if not all of these are the work of one man – Martin Wiesner – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


Martin Wiesner is billed here as the man who looks after communications for the Watford Area Green Party. Martin also ran as a Green candidate in 2004 Watford Borough Council Elections.

You most likely know him as ‘Lobster Blogster’ (CiF), one identity he carried on with for an extended period before adopting ‘Tory Dipper’ and then semi-outing himself as ‘Martin’ or ‘Pogsurf’ (CiF)… i.e. he somewhat belatedly declared a connection between some of his sock puppets, using an old nickname that – with research – might someday lead you to his real identity and some information about his political affiliations that he really should have declared in any number of instances in the first place.

As Lobster Blogster, Martin sought to involve himself with the whole Paul Staines thing and even earned a blogroll link on ‘Guido 2.0’. Eventually it emerged that we disagreed on the crucial matter of identity and accountability (i.e. the issue at the heart of my problems with Paul Staines, aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) but it wasn’t clear just how fundamental our differences were until I had cause to explore the edit history of a few entries at Wikipedia, most notably the entry for Paul Staines.

And on that note…


Months ago, I asked Martin how many anonymous edits he had made to Paul Staines’ Wikipedia entry. His response can best be described as acidic distortion:

Hang on Ireland! You want my help now? Maybe you should have thought about that before you started slagging me off on the internet. (Tory Dipper stands accused of the most hideous of internet crimes, sock-puppetry. Tim has yet to present his case, but of course he has already been found guilty by Justice Ireland.)

Just for the record, Tory Dipper is completely unaware of any way to make anonymous edits on Wikipedia. The Dipper has edited Wikipedia in the past, but only ever using the methods described at Pseudonymity, so the correct answer to his e-mail is “none”.

Even with this ‘pseudonymity’ distortion in place (a pseudonym is often chosen for purposes of anonymity; only in some contexts are they separate concepts), Martin can easily be proved to be stupefyingly ignorant, forgetful, or a liar:

Most, if not all, of these anonymous edits were made by Martin Wiesner, who is clearly aware of how one might make anonymous edits on Wikipedia, but not wily enough, it appears, to avoid detection. I have evidence of my own that’s quite distinct from the assertions of experienced Wikipedia editors, and I’m willing to have it tested in court (not that Martin will want to do anything other than cast doubt upon that evidence, or me personally).

There’s more for those who care to poke around, but this response to his being indefinitely blocked from editing Wikipedia should be enough:

Please feel free to ban me again if you feel that is the right thing to do. There are many more names and IP addresses I could adopt, should the need arise.

Martin Wiesner is an unapologetic user of sock puppets (multiple false identities). This confirms it.

Sock-puppeting is regarded to be a harmless practice in some quarters, but not when sock-puppets are used in a way that impacts significantly on someone’s reputation, and certainly not when the democratic process is involved…

Haltemprice and Howden by-election, 2008

In the showcase by-election prompted by the resignation of David Davis, the Greens were significant players (in fact, their candidate came second).

Though he failed on the follow-through, Martin Weisner sought to involve himself in that by-election with a website that mocked David Davis. Most importantly, he did so without declaring his association with the Green Party. Especially in a field with so many players and the two main players bowing out, saying something like “It should be obvious I’m not a Tory” just isn’t good enough.

While the law has yet to catch up with reality (example), such antics are just as unacceptable as anonymous pamphlets in my view, and I suspect I’ll be just as busy dealing with this issue at the next general election as I have been during recent council elections and by-elections.

Martin’s current position on all of this is that I should be willing to live and let live… but this runs contrary to his actions that I’m objecting to in the first place, and even if I were to accept his reasoning on this front, we would still be left with the very real fact that I often get blamed for a lot of the crap that he does, which impacts on my reputation.

(Psst! Annoyingly, I even get blamed for a lot of the crap he does by a man who is himself an unapologetic user of sock-puppets; Phil ‘Dizzy’ Hendren.)

Martin is also prone to the use of outright distortion in his defence, and/or when throwing accusations in the face of his accusers (typically, just before retiring from the conversation).

One of the more worrying examples was his publishing a naked picture of himself (NSFW* link posted here) as ‘proof’ of his commitment to being more open about his identity in future or some such nonsense. When I referred to this bizarre action in a later email, the one-word reply from Martin was “Pervert!”

(*Link is also Not Safe For Lunch. You have been warned.)

Martin Weisner is currently dashing from website to website making a variety of attempts to confuse the Gilligan issue and/or mock Gilligan’s accusers, without declaring (never mind discussing or defending) his own position regarding the use of multiple false identities.

There’s more (so much more that the variety of attacks and the amount of time spent on these deceptions is alarming enough in itself), but this should be enough for most people who are considering the merits of banning Martin Weisner and his many sock-puppets from their weblogs.

Martin has 24 hours in which to respond under comments if he wishes to enjoy a right of reply, after which time he will be banned from this website.

If he persists with the use of distortions, diversions and groundless/irrelevant accusations, he will be banned immediately.

It is widely regarded as acceptable to blog on the subject of politics from behind a pseudonym, so long as your nicknames/accounts somehow clearly resolve to a single identity, you make it clear what your political allegiances are, and/or you avoid undeclared conflicts of interest.

It is widely regarded as totally unacceptable to use multiple/false identities in any act likely to impact on another person’s reputation, not least because you will have done so without banking your own reputation on what you have to say.

That is the act of a coward and a bully.

Where I come from, there is a clear difference between standing up to someone and punching them in the back of the head and running away.

There is no place for Martin Weisner’s antics in our community of political weblogs, and as long as he remains determined to continue with his antics, I would argue that there’s no place for Martin Weisner, either.

[This post will also be submitted to the Green Party as the body of my complaint about the conduct of this member.]

UPDATE (2pm) – A few typos and a minor omission corrected; I’d best note this just in case any changes are leapt upon and presented/distorted as ‘evidence’ of something or other. I am also announcing here an exception to my general privacy policy; email responses from Martin Wiesner are likely to be published in whole or in part, depending on how educational I feel they might be.

UPDATE (3pm) – Name fixed. It is Weisner, and not Wiesman, as some later sentences suggested before that fix. The variation resulted from my typing much of this on the train, and therefore going from memory on the name.

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