Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Labour (Deputy) Leadership Candidates Had Better Be Careful

Dizzy has his best EXCLUSIVE yet, HERE. His'people' are saying he doesn't have to register his leadership campaign with the Electoral Commission because there is no campaign or campaign website. Dizzy begs to differ and proves that he already has a backend website up and running through Labour's marketing agency Silverfish. In fact, it's been there since last October...

During the Tory leadership contest I was responsible for registering all donations to the Electoral Commission and the Register of Members' Interests for the Davis campaign. They were quite clear that even before the contest had been formally launched we had to register everything and anything. It didn't matter if no money had changed hands and there was a benefit in kind (eg a helicopter trip), it had to be declared within four weeks of the 'donation'.

It seems to me that Gordon Brown and indeed one or two of the Deputy leadership candidates (Hazel Blears and Hilary Benn, especially) had better be very careful here.

36 comments:

Biby Cletus said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

barnacle_bill said...

Perhaps another job for the good Inspector when he has handed in his files to the CPS?

Richard Havers said...

Silverfish.tv who have registered the domain for Broon list both Bertie Ahern, 10 Downing Street and the Smith institute as clients.

Anonymous said...

In registering these sites, eg gordonbrown4leader.org (through Discount Domains BTW - what a cheapo Brown is at heart) Rachel Bull of Silverfish TV appears to have omitted the organisation name, although she's given the correct London address for Silverfish. That said it's hardly a case of "backend website up and running" as no content has been published. Just domain names with a holding page, minimal expense.

Anonymous said...

some interesting pre-registered Gordon Brown domains:

gordonbrown4britain.com
gordonbrown4leader.com
gordonbrownfornewlabour.com
gordonbrownforprimeminister.com
gordonbrown2007.com
gordonbrownassociates.com
gordonbrownpm.com

Perhaps most interestingly of all:

gordonbrownsfirstact.com

which was only registered a few days ago (8 April 2007).

I wonder whether this is hint of the big "event" that will supposedly define his premiership?

Anonymous said...

Oh god, another so called exclusive form dizzy with a tenuous link to Gordon Brown. Nothing has been proven, the only thing that has been discovered is that a company that is close to Gordon has registered a domain name! WOW. There is no content, and content is important here as even though the domain may indicate a potential campaign, it doesn't mean there has to be one.

If I were any aspiring MP (of any party) I would register a domain name stating I was for leader just in case I wanted to run, but also to prevent parody.

gordon brwon said...

This is the sort of blogger muck-raking that gets right up my nose.

Sam Younger had better watch out - remember what happened to Alistair Graham.

gammarama.co.uk said...

"Dizzy begs to differ and proves that he already has a backend website up and running through Labour's marketing agency Silverfish."

A backend website? He proves nothing of the sort. There is a holding html (which looks like the one that would automatically be put on the domain by the folk the domain was registered with) which would take seconds to create and cost nothing. The only cost involved at the moment would be the actual purchasing of the domains. One could suppose that Silverfish are pre-empting any future contract that they may get...! Or looking to make some money by buying the domain to sell on later?!

But trying to suggest or implying that Brown has somehow broken Electoral Commission rules is grabbing at straws.

Anonymous said...

I'm more interested in whether all the labour deputy leader candidates have declared their donations. You made cryptic references to Blears and Benn Iain - haven't they reported their donations? Isn't that an offence?

dizzy said...

Interesting comments in here I must say. They don't question the validity of what I posted, but instead attack the manner in which Iain has linked to it and described it.

I believe, if my memory of fallacies is correct, it's called "refuting the example".

David Anthony said...

If this is the BEST exclusive yet ... I'd hate to see the others.

purplepangolin said...

I think that anonymous @April 11, 2007 11:20 AM has a fair point, these could just be used to prevent parody sites being registered. We won't know unless/until something is posted there. If they are used for the leadership campaign then there will have been an unacceptable delay in registering them, too soon to tell for now though.

Anonymous said...

How is it refuting the example Dizzy?

You yourself focused on one particular case, that of Gordon Brown and Silverfish. All that's been pointed out is that you've jumped to conclusions. Usually, refuting the example is when a general rule is made, then an example is shown not to work, when there are any examples when it could, or should work. In this case, the arguement itself was an example so to refute it is to refute the arguement. Read Pirie in a bit more detail.

dizzy said...

I was of course referring to Iain's example being refuted in terms of the way he described my post re: "backend website" which I didn't actually say. This has been picked up on and used as a mean to refute the original piece which never stated that int he first place.

Try again.

dizzy said...

Incidnetally, no one has pointed out that I've jumped to a conclusion, they've tried to say that Iain has and used that as a dismissal of my post which was, if you read it, quite circumspect.

BOF2BS said...

Iain & Dizzy, I believe are 100% right on this one and many of the commenters totally off topic!!

The Times article implies political pressure on the Electoral Commission.

Dizzy cleverly locates the 4 (at least)domains likely reserved - AT A COST by Brown's people.

He Brown remember has form - SITH, Opinion Leader Research etc etc etc.

If trust is to be revived in our politicians they must operate within the rules and be seen to operate within them.

There is also the possibility that this is the tip of an iceberg.

Wonder if & how much Cohen has given loaned or whatever so far?

Anonymous said...

"However, if by website we mean the back-end preparations such as registering domains and putting the infrastructure in place to build it, then actually he probably does and the work for it appears to have started between October and December last year."

I think Ian was very charitable in his summary of your piece. Clearly you used the term backend preparations, which is pretty much equivalent to what other posters have calle a "backend website".

Try again.

dizzy said...

errr no it's not. As a DNS hostmaster, sendmail adnministrator, and general ISP infrasturcture professional, when I say "back-end preparation" it means just that. back-end.

DNS is back-end preparatory work required for setting up a functioning website. No need to try again.

dizzy said...

note: DNS is not a website, and ever is, can or will be.

gammarama.co.uk said...

errr no it's not. As a DNS hostmaster, sendmail adnministrator, and general ISP infrasturcture professional, when I say "back-end preparation" it means just that. back-end.

DNS is back-end preparatory work required for setting up a functioning website.


I don't know what you are on about re "sendmail adnministrator, and general ISP infrasturcture professional". Anyway the domains e.g.

gordonbrown4leader...


(as per your example)have only been bought (i checked .co.uk and .com), as in registered. All that is on the domains at the moment is a holding page. The holding page is provided by the company who the domains were bought through (discount domains). Technically these may be "back-end preperations", but the way you have written it has been misleading to say the least, especially to someone who may not know how domain registration works.

"However, if by website we mean the back-end preparations such as registering domains and putting the infrastructure in place to build it"... again, the domain has been bought, there is no evidence of any infrastructure being put in place (certainly on the .co.uk and .com domains). If you are trying to say that by buying the domain, that is putting the infrastructure in place then you are clutching at straws, as i said before.

dizzy said...

Zone records are back-end infrastructure changes. It's not clutching at straws at all. Nor is it misleading. I'm under no obligation to write posts for the technically ignorant you know.

Anonymous said...

You can admit you're wrong Dizzy, it's ok to be wrong occasionally you know.

Also, speaking of fallacies, the one you've just committed is called blinding with science.

dizzy said...

It would only be blinding with science if (a) the stuff was bullshit, which it isn't, and (b) I was writing technically in order to confuse people, which I wasn't. My website is mine, if you're too stupid to understand what I write about that's not my fault. Don't read it.

There is nothing to admit I;m wrong about. Everything I posted is factually accurate.

BOF2BS said...

All very interesting for the cognisenti but is - deliberately on someones part - diverting attention from the fact that the Broon has a history of sleight of hand in many respects - excuse me for being picky!

The only way I think to clean up their act - cos they wont - self regulation is a complete fiasco - is draconian legislation - a few custodial sentences (we'll make room for them somehow)is the answer.

Iain & Dizzy are posing the questions & pointing the finger.

Well done keep going & ignore Mr Gammies whose web site doesn't appear to work anyway so maybe he has other problems.

And we all know how to treat anonymongs.

Athos said...

It seems strange that this subject has come under much more robust discussion (i.e. attack) on Iain's site than on Dizzy's own.

Technically ignorant as I am and of the habit of looking for the meaning of statements (rather than what they can be twisted to imply they mean...) I have to side with Dizzy on this one.

There is no visible evidence of there being a website hidden behind those addys, however a blanket-load of web addressed suitable for such a campaign have been pre-hoovered by Gordon's favourite PR agency. This would cost money and the implication is therefor that Gordon is spending money on a leadership campaign: even if he never goes to war he's still bought a gun to fight it with... and once he's made the decision to have a gun he's unlikely to lack the ammunition behind it. Namely that there is probably a site back there waiting to be uploaded the moment someone else's hat touches the mat.

Without wishing to impune anyone's originality, most parody sites are put up there once a main site is up to parody... so while most of those addresses are going to have been grabbed so people can't mock them, thats probably because one of them will one day have something worth mocking on it.

dizzy said...

Well said Athos, and I agree re. discussion here compared to mine. It's also interesting that the quoted part of my post didn't include the preceding sentence which said:

I guess it all depends on how one defines "website". If you mean he has no textual presence on the Internet putting out his stall for leadership then yes, arguably he doesn't.

C'est la vie!

The Remittance Man said...

I don't understand all this back-end, back-side techie jargon - I blow things up for a living. But if what is being alleged here is true, then it does appear that someone is laying the groundwork for a Gordon4Gauleiter campaign.

Hmmmmm. I wonder if that domain name has been snaffld yet?

Anonymous said...

He should register the name JimmyBrown.com
That's his real name after all. Gordon is just another one of Broon's curious affectations

Auntie Flo'

At 8:pm, still in my office and up to my eyes in toxic Jimmy Brown's SME destroying red tape.

Go, SNP! Go grab you freedom and Independence. England will be next.

gammarama.co.uk said...

Zone records are back-end infrastructure changes.

As I said, perhaps they are, technically.

Obviously you are not under obligation to write posts for the technically ignorant, but it seems to me that you have tried to make something of registering a domain, which as you well know, is hardly a large back end infrastructure change... but to those who perhaps do not know the technicalities of it may think of it something more than what it is.

BOF2BS, my site is up and running (http://www.gammarama.co.uk/)... also, I am all for pointing the finger etc, but only when there is something worthwhile, not a story based on ifs, buts, and maybes.

Dizzy, as much as I normally enjoy your posts, I do on this occasion think you are trying to make something out of nothing (or at most, very very little!), and it is a nonentity of a story, as far as Brown breaking rules etc. As for replying here, well, it was Iain’s wording that got me annoyed…!

tory boys never grow up said...

It's when donations (in cash or kind) are received in connection with political activity that triggers reporting to the Electoral Commission not when the expenditure is incurred. I'm not sure that buying a website to prevent abuse by idiots or "back end" preparation of such a site would constituite political activity either - not really going to convince many voters is it?

An interest question for Iain was given that the Commission website reports DD's donations as being accepted on the 1 July 2005 - does this mean that he ran his entire campaign for almost a month without receiving any donations? His consituency association also failed to file accounts for 2005 despite being well over the limit in 2004.

Even more interesting Cameron didn't report any donations to his campaign until 1 August 2005. And George Galloway still hasn't reported any donations from the Mariam Appeal - even though his case to the Charity Commission said that the Appeal received money for political rather than charitable activities.

Throw them all in jail I say!

dizzy said...

Dizzy, as much as I normally enjoy your posts, I do on this occasion think you are trying to make something out of nothing (or at most, very very little!), and it is a nonentity of a story, as far as Brown breaking rules etc

errrr I didn't say he had broken rules? Note that the MSN in the form of CHannel 4 ran this story tonight, so I'm not alone in thinking it's a story.

BOF2BS said...

gammarama.co.uk said...

Website OK now WAS NOT earlier.

Most stories start off as if buts & maybes.

The master of ambiguity has been in power for 10 years, and criminal prosecutions against senior labour party members are currently under consideration in connection with their fund raising activites.

Gordon Brown will stand for leader of the Labour party.

He is far from being "a straight sort of guy"

He will have a website. It is quite likely it will be gordonbrown4leader.xxx. He will recive funding that will require to be declared to the Electoral Commisssion. He and his associates better be careful and the more bloggers & MSM who point that out at the earliest possible opportunity the better.

tory boys never grow up said...

Throw them all in jail I say!

I already said that.

dizzy said...

Note that the MSN in the form of CHannel 4 ran this story tonight, so I'm not alone in thinking it's a story.


EXCELLENT WORK SIR.


and of course WELL DONE IAIN.

strict schoolmistress said...

Gawd, weren't any of you taught to spell at school?

COGNOSCENTI

IMPUGN

Write them out a hundred times!

Bob Piper said...

I suspect the reason the discussion has taken place here rather than at dizzy's site is because Iain took what dizzy wrote and twisted into something else. dizzy didn't say it was proof, he wrote "he (Brown) probably does" have a website and "the work for it appears to have started."

Iain converts that into dizzy 'proving' that Brown "already has a backend website up".

So, WTF is the proof?

Anonymous said...

"PR Lady Grabs Cheap Domain Names On Off-Chance; World To Cease Turning Imminently"

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