Posted by Tim Ireland at June 25, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

A little treat for you, fresh from the potting shed:

QUIZ: which right-wing ‘blogger’ are you?

Good luck.

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 25, 2008

Category: The War on Stupid

Where's Wally SquadOK folks, it’s time to play an exciting new game called Where’s Wally Squad?

To play this game, all you need is a pair of sharp eyes, and the following information:

This Daily Mail article describes a person who is:

– Present at the anti-Bush demonstration in London on 15 June 2008

– In/near the front line(s) of protestors at the Whitehall barricade before the batons started swinging

– Tall, wearing a white t-shirt, carrying a black rucksack/backpack and “a professional-looking camera with a large telephoto lens”

– Screaming abuse at the police

It is alleged in the Daily Mail article that this person is also a policeman. And probably not an off-duty one.

Finding photos of this person or, ideally, video of him acting as described in this article is a tall order that probably won’t change more than a few minds, but with all those cameras around on the day I think it’s worth a shot.

I’ve browsed around Flickr and YouTube and Indymedia and the blogosphere. One possible match has come up and quickly been eliminated as a contender.

I think getting photographers to have a look through their unpublished photos and/or raw footage is the key here, not least because some of these people are quite likely to recognise other/regular demo photographers (i.e. those that are not undercover policemen sent in to mouth off and justify some good old-fashioned head-kicking).

So, if you’d like to play, go forth to places where such photos/videos are published and get browsing.

If you think you have a lead, or even if you hit a dead end, simply ask those who have captured promising images if they have any more and/or provide them with a link to this Daily Mail article and ask them if they saw the chap described.

Good luck!

I have a new possible match for you, and if anyone can provide any information either way, please speak up. (These are from some previously unpublished photos by Davide.)

UPDATE – Another one we can rule out by the looks of things, but now that Galloway is naming names (see Comments) the hunt should get a lot more interesting.

[Psst! Amusingly, because it was so crowded when our man was (reportedly) in action, the people most likely to have a clear frontal shot of him are… the police.]

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 23, 2008

Category: The War on Stupid

Daily Mail (!) – Was ‘friend’ who yelled abuse at police on anti-war demo a stooge or a thug, asks writer: As a throng of protesters built up by the barriers, an extremely animated demonstrator in a white T-shirt caught my eye. He was near the front screaming abuse at the police and trying to get a friend further back to join him. The second man sheepishly refused his encouragements to edge forward. The man in the T-shirt was tall, well-built and handsome, smiling but with a hint of menace. He pushed aside children and elderly people. He continued to shout slogans such as: ‘Pigs Out.’ On his back was a black rucksack and he carried a professional-looking camera with a large telephoto lens. (via)

Is this him?” asks blogger:

These are grabs from this video captured at the front line. The man matching the description of the writer’s ‘friend’ can be seen at 1:32, 1:45 and 4:30 (i.e. right at the very end).

I’ve scanned through most of the available videos and stills and can’t find (a) any better matches for the description or (b) any clearer shots of this guy.

Perhaps you can do better.


Q: “Is this him?”
A: According to bat020 (and others) it’s not.

See comments for more.

UPDATE – No names under comments, please. But do please sound off if you have illuminating photos/videos to share.

UPDATE (24 Jun) – There’s a solid lead on who is described in the Daily Mail article, but NO NAMES please until we get better photographic or video evidence. Video footage of the git behaving as described in the Daily Mail article would be the clincher.

Some hunting and emailing will be happening in the background today.

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 23, 2008

Category: The War on Stupid

Goodbye, George.

If you have an hour (and a bit) to spare today, I invite you to spend it on one final blow-out.

(And one for Justin.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 20, 2008

Category: Updates

1. Like most people, I’m watching this nest of ants that David Davis has kicked over (latest). Murdoch’s scramble to and from the fight shows that he can’t afford to be seen diddling our democracy, and – candidate or no – The Downing St Echo is still going to do a job on Davis. I think that, at least, is worth documenting…. and I’ve just wasted two days trying to talk myself out of a ‘Sun Watch’ project (backround)… quite unsuccessfully. Your turn. I’m predictably excited by the milky whiteness of a soft underbelly. Maybe you can talk me down.

2. George W. Bush got one ‘man of the people’ photo-op while in the UK. One. Aaaaall the way over in Belfast. And he slam-flunked it.

3. Sorry, but as much as they might deserve it, I’ll not be spoiling someone’s holiday when they’re so clearly in need of one. You’ll have to wait until later to hear about the person who is getting plenty of action and going to interesting lengths to tell me all about it.

4. What an interesting place to start waving your cock about.

5. I just realised it’s been (almost) a year since Blair left Downing Street to line his pockets. Not a lot has changed and not all of this has come to pass yet, but there’s still time:

(BTW, has anyone asked Nadine Dorries and her fundamentalist friends for the latest on when Teh End Times are due and what good work they might be doing to bring them on?)

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 17, 2008

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Guardian – Kelvin MacKenzie unlikely to stand in byelection : The Sun has not referred to the mooted campaign by its columnist once in print since MacKenzie and Murdoch, the paper’s proprietor, discussed it at a party on Thursday evening for the paper’s editor, Rebekah Wade… Murdoch was thought not to have been consulted before MacKenzie floated the idea of standing with the Sun’s backing. “Kelvin winds Murdoch up and Murdoch winds Kelvin up,” said the former Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil.

Hahahaha! “Murdoch not giant octopus,” says withered tentacle.

A bit late to start backing off now, lads… we all saw you goosestepping over the line like it wasn’t even there.

Related Bloggage:

Septicisle – Cowardy custard: Secondly, how MacKenzie was going to be funded was always going to be difficult: Murdoch himself can’t because he’s a foreigner, the Sun can’t be seen to be funding any candidate, and it was always going to be something questioned as to where his money was coming from.

UPDATE (19 Jun) – Guardian – MacKenzie explains decision not to stand in David Davis byelection: MacKenzie had said he was “90% certain” to challenge the former shadow home secretary – who stepped down to draw attention to the government’s plans to increase the detention limit to 42 days – but in his column in the Sun today he explains why he will not be taking part in the contest. “The clincher for me was the money. Clearly the Sun couldn’t put up the cash….”

Well, clearly. But you and Team Murdoch didn’t seem quite so clear about it a week ago. It looks to me like someone had to tell you:

“Rupert suggested to me that if Labour didn’t put anyone up, that I would run against David Davis, if that’s the case – and Rupert says he’s good for the money… I might well do it.” – Kelvin Mackenzie

I repeat; we all saw you goosestepping over the line like it wasn’t even there.

(Psst! There’s a lovely poster by Beau Bo D’Or here (and a Blunkett-writing-nonsense shock report here).

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 16, 2008

Category: George W. Bush

BBC – Protesters greet Bush’s UK visit
AP – British police say up to 2,500 people show up to protest Bush and 25 arrested
BBC – Three charged over Bush protests
BBC – Brown and Bush in talks at No 10
BBC – US president arrives in Belfast

(looks around)

OK, is he gone?

(looks around again)

You’re sure?!

OK, here we go:

1. Operation Manticore was not scheduled for Sunday afternoon/evening at Downing Street, nor were we planning any kind of mass moonage or a citizen’s arrest; that’s just what most people assumed.

2. Operation Manticore was in fact designed to cover every public space during the entire visit.

3. Because the one thing you really need to be aware of when you’re confronted by a Manticore isn’t the head of a man or the body of a lion or even the sting in the tail… no, the thing you really need to be aware of when it comes to your common garden-variety Manticore is that IT DOESN’T EXIST!!


Yes, Operation Manticore was about as real as George W. Bush’s 2000 election victory and Saddam Hussein’s 45-minute WMD capability. It existed only in the heads of maybe half-a-dozen bloggers, some of whom have been in on the joke for years.

Y’see, with the original version of Chasing Bush, the more we appeared determined to be a pain in the arse about Bush’s visit in 2003, the more plans changed as Bush’s security/PR bubble got smaller and smaller and smaller. So Operation Manticore was created to cover any repeat visit to London and terrible, awful, blatant lies* were published about it years ago (best example here, where I also blogged that I would be backing Blair, and I’m sure most of you are aware of how that turned out). The idea was to create an unknown quantity; an added headache for the authorities not unlike a forecast of rain on the day of a picnic. Just so they’d be that teeny bit more likely to plan their event ‘indoors’, as it were. Because you never know when some idiot is going to step out from somewhere unexpected and try to arrest George, or bare his arse at Laura, or…

[*Yes, this is the only blatant lie on Bloggerheads. FFS, most people who know me know me even just a wee bit know that I wouldn’t accept secret money from shadowy figures under any circumstances. There’s more about ‘black hats’, an attempt at blackmail, and a man who wanted me to know that he had lots and lots and lots of sex yesterday (with a real girl and everything), but it’s too pleasant a day to bother with all of that just now. Maybe tomorrow, after he decides what he’s going to do now that he knows that I planned on coming clean all along.]

That Bush’s eventual return coincided with his status as the lamest of ducks made Operation Manticore even more delicious.

Life and liberty were not put at risk. In fact, barely a sweat was raised. Because, let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s over for Bush, whether he likes it or not, and he’s simply not worth any effort beyond that required to point, laugh and/or take the piss.

But I would like to take the trouble to show you some effort that did go into a brief appearance by agents of Operation Manticore at yesterday’s demonstration in Westminster:

The kids and I had fun over the weekend building noisemakers that can equal the output of your typical hand-held air horn (video here). There were 55 of them (not counting prototypes) and 150 ‘raspberry’ party whistles. Even the littlest helped out as we wrapped each noisemaker in a coded message, ready for distribution.

We even went into town together at one stage to seek out supplies (film canisters, balloons and straws, mostly) and splurged on a couple of family games (1 board, 1 Wii) using some gift vouchers we had stockpiled (including the one we earned/won for the Rebekah Wade guy).

In short, we had a jolly old time; a family weekend with our “secret mission” that culminated in me taking Sunday afternoon off to play silly-buggers with Bush.

4:30pm, Sunday:

I hooked up with Sim-O and D-Notice and we walked through the crowd and distributed as many free noisemakers (and top-secret messages) as we could before breaking off from the demo, then circling and probing the cordon, and generally just being conspicuous as we passed by (or lurked near to) alternative entrances.

Sadly, only Sim-O was searched very early on (my bag was full of incriminating yet harmless items; compass, maps, lightsticks that could only been seen with infra-red goggles, etc.) but our tour of the cordon (and a search for a toilet) did allow us to catch a spectacular security sweep of St James’s Park by armed officers, which in itself looked like a tidy little bluff; minutes after the sweep at the back, Bush’s convoy drove in at speed through the ‘side’ (i.e. through the gate at the Trafalgar Square end of Whitehall that looked like a checkpoint in a bloody war zone).

I suppose if the priority is to get your man inside without anyone saying ‘boo’ to a goose duck, then having him see a front yard that looks like a building site isn’t that big a deal. And neither is letting hundreds of angry protestors see the motorcade so it all kicks off and the batons start flying.

[Hello, police peeps. Sorry we didn’t line up for our beating at the Parliament end of Whitehall like we were supposed to. I’m sure you’ll get us next time.]

Davide busied himself taking pictures in the guts of the demo, and we hooked up for beer and a few laughs afterwards (a highlight being the McFlurry moment, when it became clear that most coppers needed coffee, but one very special officer had requested ice cream).

Sadly, Plan B (a series of plans that didn’t exist, designed to keep attention away from Plan A… that didn’t exist) was rumbled a day or two earlier than planned. This meant less publicity for me (I’ll live) and less fun for those who didn’t know about Plan A (sorry about that) but Plan A remained secure throughout, so a hearty ‘huzzah’ goes out to everybody who managed to keep The Big Secret.

Now it’s back to blogging and business as usual… but do watch out for the Crazy Ivan in 5, 4, 3, 2…

[Psst! Have you worked out what the secret message says yet?]

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 16, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Yesterday was the last day of my self-imposed curfew, and what did I do? I broke curfew!

I surrendered to the demon drink after a couple of weeks, too. Like a total pansy.


I throw myself on the mercy of the court.

(Yes, I know Bush just left. With you shortly.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 16, 2008

Category: George W. Bush

So I’m hanging around just outside a quieter edge of the security cordon and I watch two cops walk past, fresh from McDonalds with 8 cups of coffee… and a single McFlurry for one very special member of the team.

I’m betting that it was this guy (source):

It’s refreshing to watch an officer of the law totally get his man, isn’t it?

More when it’s over.

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 15, 2008

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Watch out. This could get silly.

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