Saturday, July 12, 2008

Labour MP Caught Up in Non Defection Scam

Last night I had an email purporting to be from ueber-loyal Labour MP Nick Palmer, a friend of mine. The email informed me of a likely defection by a Labour MP to the SNP and said that if this happened Gordon Brown was toast. There was something about it that didn't quite feel right, so I emailed back (to a Googlemail address) asking if it really was Nick, and if so to provide me with the last three digits of his mobile phone number. Answer came there none. I then emailed Nick at his normal email address (not a parliamentary email) to inform him of the email. As he said in his reply "People on pb.com will laugh like drains at the idea of my being part of a sercret dissident cabal...".

I suspect this is a start of a dirty tricks operation against right of centre bloggers, with the aim of making us look complete arses. Speaking for myself, I can do that myself without any outside help, thank you very much!

UPDATE 3.14pm: Guido Fawkes had the same email, made some calls and as a consequence didn't run it either. So much for the allegations that he or I never bother checking stories. Labour Minister Tom Harris has an interesting post on this issue and relates a similar tale.

26 comments:

workrobotwork said...

Take it as a compliment. The left seem unable to provide any agenda-setting or influential blogs at present and this represents an example of where the right are the trend-setters of new media.

If this is the level left-of-centre types are stooping to then the Conservatives have even more reason to be cheery.

Marquee Mark said...

Did your "dead Scottish MP" messages come from e-mails too?

Labour clearly can't control the message these days, so is it trying to discredit the medium? I wouldn't put it past them to want to try; I can't believe they are sufficiently organised to pull it off though!

Iain Dale said...

Marquee Mark, no, from phone calls.

Anonymous said...

You are not the only one to be scammed Ian.

Gordon thought he had the Russians on side over Zimbabwe. At least unlike Gordon you did not fall for it.

DavidM said...

When Nick speaks to us, his constituents, he trys to portray himself as an independently minded MP, careful to take a balanced view rather that blindly following the party line. He has to appeal to Lib Dems in what is a Lab/Con maginal, so it's not surprising.

But I keep an eye on his voting record, and I'd agree with you Iain. He's Über-loyal.

As for toast, it pretty much describes Nick Palmer's state after the next election. That would be a shame. For all his über-loyalty, he's a very good constituency MP.

Tim Montgomerie said...

You might be right Iain.

ConHome has had a few things like this recently including another distasteful "Thatcher has died" alert.

Marquee Mark said...

Iain, very strange then about the phone calls on the "dead" MP. Perhaps death certificates of any MP's won't be signed until May 2010! They'll just be seen out on the town with a couple of Whips, Weekend at Bernie's style....

Rohan said...

Check the email headers in future. That way you can, at least some of the time, see the route it took, and thus discover who sent it. If it traces back to Gmail or another Google service I would contact them and ask for the account to be suspended as a breach of the terms and conditions (No.3)
http://www.google.com/mail/help/terms_of_use.html

Of course it might trace back to somewhere more incriminating...

Anonymous said...

Or maybe it originates from a fat Australian tit who "has form" with such jolly japes.

wrinkled weasel said...

It could be any number of Labour scumsuckers responsible; Alex Hilton, Sion Simon, etc, who have previous - or a lone nutter.

It matters not. You know as well as I do that the more compelling, the more beguiling, the more gut wrenchingly exclusive the story seems, the more it should be checked and double checked.

You have said the "Labour MP dies" story was telephoned to you. Where did they get the misinformation?

You have your head and shoulders well above the parapet. Sooner or later they will be rummaging in your bin and hoping to find some dirt on you. Sorry, but that's the way it works.

By the way, you are missing yet another great story! Over at the Telegraph, Mark Thompson, the smug little shit in charge of the BBC is getting an absolute caning from comments on his "why the BBC is worth 40p". If they could only grasp the nettle, the Tories cold have a vote winner if they made a commitment to strip the BBC of its exalted status. I think it is time there was an independent inquiry into bias at the BBc, a thorough one, not a whitewash, with evidence gathering powers. Their behaviour over your butch friend from Haltemprice should have you spitting pins.

neil craig said...

A few months ago the global warming sceptical community was subjected to a similar hoax about some scientists found some ice records which proved warming untrue (it was actually a pretty well done email not very dissimilar from some genuine research).

I posted it on my blog & stayed there till next morning which got me mentioned around the world as one of the about 4 bloggers worldwide taken in. Because it was so widely recognised it was a bit of an own goal proving that the sceptics are indeed properly sceptical.

The source of the email was traced to a David Thorpe, a Guardian journalist, though he pretty much admitted he was merely the front man. I don't know if you will be able to trace your email Iain.

Though the Guardian & BBC have failed to report the genuine research mentioned above they both promoted articles from Mr Torpe after he had been outed. The didn't want anything from his victims which would have been a pleasant earner.

I think we will see more such tricks & normally they will fail. If one can judge a man by his enemies then such enemies seem pretty dispicable.

http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2007/11/this-paper-could-not-be-more-damaging.html

tapestry said...

Chris Paul is known for carrying out a few strange manoeuvres, it is alleged.

It shows how much you are hurting them, that they find it worthwhile to try to sabotage you.

Problem is they are about as capable of carrying out effective dirty ticks as they are at running an economy, stopping banks from collapsing, and keeping kids from knifing each other on the streets.

Jon said...

Send back an email with a hard drive crashing virus / worm attachment.

He then may think twice about doing it again.

Anonymous said...

At least Labour's attempted scam on you was mainly harmless.

The Scam that they have carried out on the people of Glasgow East has proved lethal for many of them. Why on Earth they would vote for another Labour MP after being let down so badly by the last is beyond belief.

Inside Glasgow East, where Gordon Brown's a cursed name

Gordon's Spad said...

PPsst Gordon Brown is to replace Darling.. Any day now.
Darling is going to housing. Flint is going to defence. Hoon is out.

Rumour is its going to be David Laws crossing the floor to be Chancellor in a Lib Lab pact.

crisp haul said...

How very dare you?

Julian H said...

As a blatant attempt to drive traffic, I'd like to draw attention to my post on the issue here:

http://orangebyname.blogspot.com/

rosie said...

Ianin they have to get rid of you guys.
You are the only opposition the country has.

Anonymous said...

Here's another one for you. Eric Pickles to take over from Spelman.

Matthew Parris:
"The next Tory chairman will be fat - count on it"

Toby said...

Love the assumption that it was a Labour supporter. No evidence of course, and the more logical conclusion would be a misguided Conservative 'friend', but who needs logic when there's prejudice?

Tom Harris MP said...

Iain - this is more likely to be an attempt to destabilise the Scottish Labour Party than right-of-centre bloggers. About a year and a half ago the Sunday Herald's political editor, Paul Hutcheon, wrote a front page splash announcing an imminent defection to the SNP by a Labour MP. Nothing happened. Clearly the story had been sold to Hutcheon as something that it was not, but still he published without being able to stand it up, mainly because it was a good story, not because it had any truth in it. Naturally, it turned out to be entirely fictitious, and no defection subsequently occurred. Hutcheon, rather inevitably in Scottish politics, was awarded Political Journalist of the Year. So clearly the clowns are at it again. Well done for making more checks on the story than Hutcheon did.

Sarah Corr said...

"Iain - this is more likely to be an attempt to destabilise the Scottish Labour Party than right-of-centre bloggers."

Strangely Tom this is what my contacts in the SNP are concluding as well having had their late night cocoa spoilt by calls asking if it's true.

Therefore who is doing it?

Dave H. said...

This is an incredibly boring fart comment to make and you may well already know it, but you can get ü and Ü with ALT+129 and ALT+154 on the numeric keypad. It avoids the funny-looking (to English speakers) extra e.

The spelling reform ruined certain laughs for sad Inselaffen, such as the village of Östrich-Winkel (near Mainz).

Re.the story I suppose that hoaxer is similarly puerile but with a dose of malice thrown in (could that be pürile?).

javelin said...

What doe the internet header say on the email?

Depends with emal client you use, but if you use outlook open the email and then select the menu item View -> Options

On the bottom of the dialog box that appears will be alot more data about the email. You might find out who really sent it.

Mike Smithson said...

Iain - this happens quite a lot on PB and just before the London Mayoral election somebody created a whole discussion involving four or five regulars WITH their email addresses and a bogus me to suggest that a new poll showed Ken in the lead.

Roger Thornhill said...

Didn't Guido predict recently that non-leftie bloggers* would get a series of fake scoops to undermine their currency?



* which lefties incorrectly call "right wing" - very GW "for us or against us" Bush of them