Thursday, July 09, 2009

Thursday Open Thread

You may think this rather convenient bearing in mind the story below, but there won't be any updates to this blog until Thursday evening as I am chairing a conference all day and am unlikely to be free until 7pm. I may well use Twitter to impart a few pearls, but I'm afraid that's all I can promise today. If you want to follow me on Twitter click HERE.

In the meantime, use this thread to discuss the news topics of the day. Please don't abuse the hospitality. Someone is monitoring the comments and will take action if need be.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Guido said...

lol - that peace lasted a long time!

Major Plonquer said...

Ooooh. 'Chairing a conference' are we?

'Excuse me if I leave you with nothing to read for a few days as I have to toddle orf to chair a conference. So toodle pip, old bean.'

Since you are too busy 'chairing conferences' to entertain us this week people will just have to read this.

The person monitoring comments said...

I am Andy Coulson ;).

Anonymous said...

Sorry to point to another blog, but Coffeehouse have put up a issue of how Harman lies all the time.

so the thread is, how many times can Harman be allowed to get away with it.

Victor, NW Kent said...

Labour has always used Biblical precedent and has fooled the masses by persuading them that what they are told three times is Truth.

Russell said...

Is there anyone else out there who thinks that the Gruinard's Coulson story has the potential to be immensely damaging - for Labour?

Dan said...

Surely Labour shouldn't have much of a problem with this.

There is no proof he was directly involved, the alleged offence happened in the past in a previously held position and Mandelson reformed didn't he?

golden_balls said...

interesting that dale has just put bloggers approval for comments

he didn't do that during the mcbride story hmmm i sense double standards

Iain Dale said...

Golden Balls. Comment moderation has been put on because an anonymous person was filling the Pride event thread with disgusting homophobic comments. And for no other reason.

golden_balls said...

not good enough ian i doubt anyone saw those comments.

its your blog but you will be judged by how you react to todays story.

While your a tory and i'm labour i do actually like reading your blog don't stifle debate but its your choice.

Plenty said...

The political Willie's are having a hard time at the moment. Excuse the metaphor.

Tachybaptus said...

Victor, NW Kent:

'What I tell you three times is true' is not from the Bible. It's from The Hunting of the Snark. Much more appropriate. O that Brown would meet a Boojum and softly and silently vanish away.

HatetheBBC said...

Golden balls said
not good enough ian i doubt anyone saw those comments.
July 09, 2009 11:05 AM

Oh do shut up you tiresome sod,and his name is iain not ian.

Victor, NW Kent said...


Thank you for that.

The saying is rooted, sardonically, in the following:
"the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me.’ [Luke 22:33-34]

In other words, any falsehood can be regarded as truth if told enough times.

Of course, Lewis Carroll also laid the ground for another New Labour device “When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.” As in 0% increase, as in Lisbon referendum.

golden_balls said...

lol @hatethebbc

hmmmm i sense your a tory

you were happy enough to blog and blog about mcbride but when its the conservatives you go quiet and then put bloggers approval on comments

double standards but i didn't expect anything else

Thomas Rossetti said...

If people haven't already done so, I would advise you to read Nick Clegg's excellent article on Afghanistan in The Telegraph. For how much longer will British troops be sacrificed in fighting another of America's wars?

Myles said...

How about this for a topic? In today's Scottish papers there is a story about a woman being jailed for embezzling £16,000 from "the social" by claiming benefits for her son, for a long time after he had died.
While I hold no brief for this behaviour, can someone honestly tell me the legal and moral difference between screwing the taxpayer for a person that no longer existed and screwing the taxpayer for a mortgage that no longer existed. And if so, why aren't those MP's who've admitted to the latter, not before the criminal courts?

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see Prescott's faux outrage on Alja Beeba this morning?

Funny how some breaches of the law get him all wound up....don't recall similar outrage when MPs were exposed claiming for non existent mortgages.

As a member of the cabinet responsible for the ever increasing surveillance society that we now have, in true Zanu Liebour style he doesn't like being on the receiving end.

Sarah said...

Iain you have my full support in your effort to stem homophobia on your blog.

It is disgusting to say the least that people have to go to such lows.

UB41 said...

I agree with Russell.

In the last few days we have seen not only this but also the Osborne complaint.

Now, whether this is all emanating from Downing St. is interesting, but not actually relevant.

The public will assume rightly or wrongly that labour's smear machine is back in operation.

Given that our great leader (Gordon, not Mandy)has said he will clean up politics then he doesn't appear to be off to a great start with his own MP's blogging about it and talking it up.

There are no parallels between this & McBride. McBride was operating for the government. Coulson was operating for a private organisation well before he joined the Tories.
Also, Coulson didn't actually do it did he, whereas McBride did.

It will be seen as some spin doctors desperately trying to turn this into a story.

Given PorkiePieGate, no one really believes the government any more and this will be transpairent to anyone.

Unsworth said...

@ golden_balls

Are you some sort of State Education Victim?

JMT said...

Coulson worked for a newspaper, they paid his salary, and he resigned (ie actually left their employ, not hide on back benches like Labour MPs) when the story broke - years ago, and NOTW reporting had nothing to do with Tories anyway.

Despite your protestations about McBride/Coulson treatment, the stories are quite different.

McBride was paid by the tax payer, he used taxpayer provided IT in an attempt to lie, smear and publicly demean innocents.

He may have resigned from his bunker post but, despite questions asked in the house, the PM will still not confirm whether he is still a civil servant drawing a taxpayer provided salary or not.

A female civil servant recently lost her job for "inappropriate use of IT" for a comment about Blears.

If you really want to uncover a scandal find out whether McBride is still drawing a civil service salary, and if he is why he has not been sacked for "inappropriate use of IT" and why junior civil servants are treated differently from bunker inhabitants.

Penfold said...

Victor, NW Kent said...

Thank you for that.

The saying is rooted, sardonically, in the following:
"the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me.’ [Luke 22:33-34]

In other words, any falsehood can be regarded as truth if told enough times.

I believe Goebbels adopted a similar line.....

Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

Will AI supercomputers replace MPs?

Well, simple heuristic algorithms can do that already, but what about quizz shows?

John Willman said...

I don't think the Coulson defence -that the payments happened after he left the NoW - will do. The alleged payments are in relation to events that happened when he was Editor and Deputy Editor.

The court judgment must be unsealed

Oliver Drew said...

This is quite a good read:

It is, I have to say, extremely amusing!

Tachybaptus said...

Victor, NW Kent:

Thanks for pointing out the origin of the 'three times' saying. I had foolishly not made the further connection.

On the other hand, once the idea of the doomed voyage of New Labour is seen as that of the Snark expedition, it is very hard to get it out of one's mind. We know who the Bellman is, but is the Beaver Darling? Is the Butcher Balls? Is the perfectly blank map of the sea their policies? All that I am certain of is that poor Cameron is not the Boojum, that most necessary entity.

Anonymous said...

I may well use Twitter to impart a few pearls,

My my technology has moved on.

Anonymous said...

What is the world coming too.....Balls, Willies, and my little pussy on Anna Raccoon!

golden_balls said...


no it hasn't ian oops iain hasn't tweeted all day

he does seem to disappear quite alot when the shi* hits the fan

after the interesting statment given by john yates the police seem to feel no further action is needed.

Its now for the guardian and other media to look into this.

I gather yates is saying that no evidence was found that the deputy pm was bugged. But was he targeted if so he should have been warned.

Lots more questions but the police want to close this down as quickly as possible.

I think its reasonable that the police release all the information that they gathered during the investigation but i doubt this will happen.

I haven't even mentioned the coulson connection which should also be looked into.

an interesting day indeed.

Anonymous said...

Charles Clarke on Today this morning and Martin Salter on WATO this lunchtime made fools of themselves, demanding the immediate sacking of Andy Coulson.

Salter virtually libelled him and outside the Chamber of the House of Commons too.

Now the Yard have confirmed there is nothing further to investigate, will Clarke and Salter sack themselves for their stupidity, or apologise, or will Coulson sue?

Bill Quango MP said...

BTW police are saying NO FURTHER INVESTIGATION as they have already investigated.
It doesn't satisfy me. Call in an outside force. The Met should never investigate the Met.

I'm sure i read all about this and much worse in Flat Earth News last year.

Anonymous said...

6pm-ish Sky are reporting that no further action will be taken by the Met Police with regards of this latest scandal. Wonder why they came to that conclusion...

Iain Dale said...

Golden Balls 5.54 "he does seem to disappear quite alot when the shi* hits the fan "

You really are a piece of work. I have been chairing a conference from 9am through to 5.30. I explained that. Do you seriously think I was going to be able to blog while doing that?

I'll be on Sky News at 11.30. Think I will disappear from that do you? Prat.

Anonymous said...

@Bill Quango didn't Charlie Brooker's Newswipe have an item on this sort of thing as well?

Sarah said...

@ Iain Dale 6.07
"Think I will disappear from that do you? Prat."
Whilst I agree with your argument I do not agree with the fact you are calling an individual who disagrees with you a 'prat'.
Perhaps you need to have some comment moderation of your own next time Iain and control your language.
Set an example for the rest of us to follow or do not set one at all.

Iain Dale said...

Sarah, you make a fair point. But when you have had a very tiring day and read a pathetic comment like that, acribing motivations to you that you just don't have, then you can hardly blame me for reacting adversely. I could say the sun was hot and golden balls would deny it and say it was freezing.

Anonymous said...

Iain is there anyway to see the full version of some of your video clips, instead of the 5 minute previews. I have seen some of the ones which are the full versions(eg Teddy Taylor, John Nott, Ann Widdecombe and Sir Patrick Cormack).

Iain Dale said...

Yes, just follow the instructions on the Veoh site to download the bit of software that allows you to view the whole thing. said...

I wonder what Ed Balls' phone message would have said (had he been tapped of course)... "Hi darling, Yvette here... sorry you didn't get the Chancellor job... seems like I'm still winning the 'top of the treasury' competition. Maybe you should take up Chinese cuisine, or Twitter... or something."

larry grayson said...

Shut that door.

Anonymous said...

Okay thanks Iain.

Anonymous said...

what was the conference you were chairing and how did it go ?

Don't worry about the language - you were quite moderate i would have said ffing prat .

also it looks like the coulson story is becoming a non event . This will upset the lefties as they won't get their trophy, but doubtless they will try and make more of this in the days to come .

PS - I liked the change of colour to the tory tree on the pride post, looks better than the green affair of the official logo.

golden_balls said...

when the mcbride story happend you were a media whore for nearly 7 days when a tory spin doctor is under fire you go awol and put blogger approval on all comments to stifle debate.

thats just my opinion but please don't name call it does make you look childish

i look forward to your views on this story

Anonymous said...

Methinks that this whole affair has the smell of Mandy!

While Macavity's away the mice do play!!!

Iain Dale said...

Golden Balls - there you go again. I did not switch on comment moderation to stifle debate on this. I explained earlier (which you saw) that it was switched on due to someone leaving a stream of abusive homophobic comments on a previous thread which contained such disgusting language that even I found it shocking. The only way to get rid of people like that is to deny them the ablity to leave a message. As I was chairing a conference all day I could not simply delete the comments as they were left. No conspiracy, that's the truth.

golden_balls said...

thats just my opinion iain don't get in a flap. I understand you've had a busy day so go relax chill etc.

I am looking forward to your views
on this story.

the police have alot more questions to answer with the cps and now the security minster adding to things this evening.

Hamish said...

Well, since it's an open thread, I'll chip in three slightly related points, and one completely different.

1a Jack Straw was right about Biggs.
1b Yates is right about the NOtW story.
1c There should be an amnesty for all MPs who come clean on expenses.

2 Nadines's blog is increasingly like a Private Eye parody, best read of the day.
But I can't see any comments.
Is it just me?

Joe Public said...

How come Two-Jags writes to Stephenson, and gets a Yates-of-the-Yard response - all on the same day?

Unsworth said...

@ golden_balls

"a media whore"

Name calling?

Who's childish?

Oliver said...

"I explained earlier (which you saw) that it was switched on due to someone leaving a stream of abusive homophobic comments on a previous thread which contained such disgusting language that even I found it shocking."

Iain its your blog and to be honest I think any rational person would have done the same thing as you would. I support you.

I just want to say I think you do a lot to encourage constructive debate and I hope debate remains a key feature of your blog in the future and all readers respect that privilege.

scotch said...

"I could not simply delete the comments as they were left".

But you are deleting mine now, yes?

Iain Dale said...

Clearly not.

scotch said...

And you publish that one. But there were others, weren't there?

Iain Dale said...

No, actually, there weren't. You have left no comments on here today under the name Scotch. You always try this one on when Comment Moderation is on in an attempt to make me look dishonest. You know and I know that you haven't left a single comment on here before that last one.

scotch said...

Now that's just a bit annoying Iain.
I have screenshots and pages saved as web archives which prove that what you've just said is not true.
Would you like to explain or retract?

Iain Dale said...

I don't care what you have. I know for a fact that you have not left a comment on my blog today. I have even checked all the comments that have come through by email. The only comments I have deleted relate to homophobic abuse and a couple of anonymous insulting comments on this thread. None were from you. Are you calling me a liar?

scotch said...

Yes I am.

scotch said...

Let me clarify:
You challenged me to call you a liar even though by your response to one of my comments you effectively called me one.
I have never [attempted to make you look dishonest]. I do not 'always try this one on' and I never have.

I see no reason behind your attack on my integrity. But yet you continue to insult me. Why?

Iain Dale said...

Scotch, I have repeatedly told you there has not been a single comment left by you today. I have even checked my email and deleted items to make sure. Yet you persist in accusing me of deleting your comments. I have not. You have called me a liar. In the past you have accused me of doing the same thing, yet I have never deleted comments from you so far as I can remember. You said you have screenshots. Feel free to email them to me. But it wont alter the fact that no comment ever came through on the Blogger system.

Karl Marx said...

Iain why are you insulting Scotch and calling him a liar. Why don't you grow up and stop acting like such a child. Honestly Iain you a pathetic.

Karl Marx said...

@ Iain Dale said...
"I don't care what you have." 9.06

& now you said later on
" You said you have screenshots. Feel free to email them to me. " 9.33

Talk about changing your tune Iain. So my advice to you Iain will be stop being a prat.
Your blog is increasingly becoming a children's playground.

Anonymous said...

Don't engage with this guy. you've got better things to do. He's clearly trying to wind you up.

scotch said...

OK folks, here we go, it appears I'll have to type them all again for the benefit mysterious disappearing blogger system:

Post 1. 6.21pm. "I may well use twitter to impart a few pearls".
But you didn't, did you? And all goldenballs did was call you on it - and he self-censored his language.

Remind us of you rules on that sort of thing will you please?

Post 2. 7.03 pm. Is it actually impossible for you to say the word "sorry" Iain?
Will you burst into flames or something?

Hope that clarifies things now. Looking forward to seeing this on the site. Fingers crossed, eh?

Hamish said...

I am very partial to Scotch myself.
I slightly resent anyone trying to appropriate that name.
You're not Irish by any chance, or that continental Diageo.

Enterprise said...

Why do you bother Iain with these idiots such as Scotch and Karl Marx?
I wouldn't....
Just stick to typing on your typewriter and forget all these nasty comments.

Dolly Draper said...

@ Hamish
"You're not Irish by any chance, or that continental Diageo"
I think you are being xenophobic and racist with those comments.

Socialist Tea total said...

@ enterprise
"Just stick to typing on your typewriter and forget all these nasty comments."
What is this the 20th century or something. Iain doesn't use a typewriter you silly person

pitman typist said...

Even though I am not sure if Iain uses a typewriter. Do you still use a typewriter Iain?
I do and would say its better than using my laptop.

scotch said...

@enterprise: nice, thanks. So your first post about me is to insult me. Are you OK with that Iain? Does that fit within your rules?

scotch said...

*This one is fine not to publish. I just wanted to check the last one got through. Can't be too careful with this pesky Blogger software deciding not to publish stuff, eh?*

Tachybaptus said...

Iain: never mind about the current bitchery by a few nasties about disappearing comments.

But in fact there is a technical curiosity about comments on your blog that sporadically causes the last one and a half hours' worth to vanish when one comments oneself, and then returns to the comments page. When this happens, it can be corrected by pressing F5 to reload the page. This has been happening for a couple of months now.

As far as I can tell, it affects only Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista. Not the same program in XP, which I have on another computer. And not Firefox on Mac, which I also have. Have not tried IE 8, and indeed wouldn't touch the bloody thing with a 40 ft pole.

(Interval for chorus of 'Well, why don't you get Firefox/Opera/Tralala instead?' Answer: none of them works for Biblical Hebrew with cantillation marks, which I need.)

Flemingcrag said...

The Labour/Gruinard smear plot against Tory spin doctor Andy Coulson has been a resounding success.

They have managed to get the fact that Brown and Balls are serial liars on anything to do with the economy off the front pages. The pre-occupation of most Lobby Journalists (Copywriters) with this political gossip as opposed to legally recognised level of wrongdoing has provided cover for more of the Cabinet to weigh in with more lies as witnessed by Harriet Harman's ludicrous assertion this Labour Government is paying down debt.

Given the level of deceit amongst politicians and the lazy way most lobby journalists report everything from the unnamed source as the gospel truth makes me almost forgiving of anyone who resorts to listening in to the unguarded comments of a politician's voicemail to get at the truth.

Just in case anyone missed the real news; The Government is planning no changes to the regulatory system that failed to spot financial meltdown, this emerged as a Government majority owned bank announced big bonuses are back with a bang and the Nations biggest mortgage lender announced 125% mortgage loans are also back.