Over the last few weeks a huge amount of damage has been done to the British blogosphere. Blogwars have broken out between various parties which have made us all appear like obsessive schoolschildren who have nothing better to do with our time than flame each other. It's developed into a pitch battle between left and right and emerged out of the investigations into the Smith Institute. It's time to call a halt to this before it all gets out of hand and writs are issued. The latest spat over the weekend where a group of bloggers accused another one of wanting in the past to aide the BNP was a spat too far.
I have been repeatedly accused of lying. I have not responded to these accusations because I have felt that if I do it will merely exacerbate the situation and prolong the torture. At times over the past fortnight I have felt what it is like to be the victim of stalking. Believe me, it is not pleasant. Some will say that by sticking my head above the parapet on certain issues I have only myself to blame. Maybe they're right, but what a sad situation we have got ourselves into. Others say that being attacked by left wing blogs on an issue where they feel vulnerable is an accolade. I do not share that view.
The British blogosphere has always been a community where people with different views and agendas have a common interest. I happily link to people on the left and they happily link to me - not just in sidebars but on real stories. Over the last few weeks this has changed. We're now in a situation where people who I have always regarded as sensible people, even friends, have decided that certain bloggers on the Right are their mortal enemies who must be destroyed. This must stop. If bloggers turn on each other we merely give fuel to the arguments put forward by Yasmin Alibhai Brown yesterday.
Guido has this morning 'outed' himself for the first time and confirmed the identity which anyone with a remote knowledge of how to use Google could have done for themselves months ago.
In the spirit of reaching out to those who seem to have developed an unhealthy obsession with me I say this. I refuse to get dragged in to a war with you. You can keep sending over the missiles but I'm not firing back.
To XXXXX - and this is the first and last time I will be addressing him - I say this. You accuse me of calling you a 'nihilist'. I emphatically did not. The tape shows that someone else called Guido Fawkes a 'nihilist' in a discussion about your spat with him and I asked the question 'isn't XXXXX one too'? Until I looked back at the tape I couldn't even remember saying it. Now, I accept that you could draw the implication from that that I believed you to be one too but as I have said before, I actually had to look up what the word meant. If you really take offence at the question then I am happy to say sorry. But I am sure you have been called worse, as have I. I do not normally demand apologies or go to the lengths you have to get one.
XXXXX has also accused me of lying about my Wikipedia entry. He says I have written that I was not aware of the page until last week and provide a screenshot of edits on the page. When I wrote "I was not aware of this page until today" I was referring to the DISCUSSION page, linked to from my entry on which I wrote those words. Of course I was aware of the main page. I am not demanding an apology from him. It's an easy mistake to make. All I ask is that he accepts he was wrong. If he does indeed accept that, he will then presumably agree to remove the entry from his blog.
I have said all I have to say on this now. I won't entering any dialogue about it. Either this is accepted at face value or it isn't. If it is to be the latter. the feuding will continue to be very one sided, because I won't be playing. The reaction of my accusers will go a long way to demonstrating whether the British blogosphere moves beyond its tendency to self-obsess or not. As XXXXX might put it. Iain has spoken. End communication!
Name calling has always been the last resort for those who have lost the argument. As the left are short of legs to stand on they always resort to this most purile form of attack!
You tell 'em, Iain!
Maybe there's a grain of truth about Christians in wheelchairs.
Blog wars are fun. They should continue.
Handbags at dawn! Can I come and watch?
Who exactly is Tim Ireland?
What's a blog?
I have no idea of what this is about and don't really care. However I do think it is disingenuous to pretend that saying 'isn't Tim Ireland one too?' is not reflecting a view.
If you had posed the question 'Is Tim Ireland one?' this would be different. Although as with anything in life, 'If you can't take it, don't dish it out'.
Reference the point about Guido - I enjoy his blog and read it a lot.
But we are entitled to 'judge a man by the company he keeps'. Trying to censor that debate will end up in the situation that Tony Blair is currently in, trying to manage the flow of information from leaks.
I have to admit that it has been a bit of a blogging bitchfest the past couple weeks.
Not very pretty at all.
Iain, cheer up. I don't follow all these other blogs much, but I do read yours often. Keep up the good work. Tell it how it is. Bear in mind though that there will be lots more of this if you become an MP. I'm tempted to add "Don't let the buggers get you down" but that phrase got rather tarnished by Michael Mates :)
A voice of reason at last, well done Iain
I heartily agree. Its unedifying and childish.
Disagreement is fine, debate is good, trading insults is childish and ad hominem attacks such as those we've witnessed really makes us all look bad.
gweirdo loves you iain
Rise above them
Well said, Iain. The concerted attempt to 'get' Guido over the weekend was a new low. In my opinion, he had no option but to take legal action given the nasty nature of the accusations.
There are so many good stories out there to talk about - stop talking about each other like a bunch of village gossips.
Why not encouraging the flaming? These cries of pain are evidence of the importance of blogs. They are symptoms of insecurity. Go with the flow and flame.
The tone and relevance of this debate is the same as that which repulses decent students from student union politics.
"You're a Trotskyist reactionary anarchist with pseudo-zionist tendencies"
"How dare you call me reactionary?"
Lads, it doesn't matter.
Hmmm - I'm in a similar position to you right now Iain.
On one blog I'm being 'hailed' as a leading light in some sort of gay conspiracy within the Liberal Democrats (conspiracy to do what? stage clandestine musicals?) - and the person / people from that blog are leaving comments over the blogosphere drawing the craziest conclusions - and have been for months. But, like you, I won't be firing missiles back.
Ho hum. Was it Robin Oakley who said that politics was a free hedge trimming service? Stick your head above the parapet and someone'll come along in no time at all to cut it off...
Iain ! Leave 'im ! He's not worth it !
Well said. I have found the recent flame wars quite irritating. What attracted me to reading political blogs in the first place was the way that people seemed inclined to give credit where credit was due. I fully expect a certain amount of bias but the last two weeks have verged on onanistic hysteria.
You are doing the right thing closing the war of words from your side.
Maybe your attackers will find something worthwhile to spend their time on, like trying to find out why children's hospices in England only receive 5% of their funding from the government.
Over the last few weeks a huge amount of damage has been done to the British blogosphere.
Manic contends that it is you who has been doing the most damage... and for some months now. As you well know.
Please stop playing the victim.
It isn`t so much a war as a straggle of vandals.You must live in a nice area if you avoid this.
They have nothng else to say as they are not capable of entering a debate , for the most part , so they shout the only slogan they can remember.
This Tim person has not said one single interesting thing in the whole tedious "War" ,that I have read ,and his blog is incomprehensible trivia /drivel.
It must be annoying but I can`t see that there is any profound principle involved. They have nothing to say and arrive only to make little blog friends and enemies.This is ,to them , a chat room without the sex.
I hope it will still be allowable to disagree on occassion without being tarred with the same brush
An interesting turn of events:
You can't stop people feeling rather spiteful towards those who take pleasure in seeing individuals they know take a fall.
Take this cash for peerages affair, or Gordon Brown's favourite charity, for instance; if charges are brought or the charity shut down, yourself and Guido Fawkes will be delighted; it will be cause to celebrate. That reality is a bitter pill to swallow for Labour people who are close to those involved.
People view themselves as innocent benevolent agents whilst others as guilty malevolent types, deserving of attacks, which is why it will always get nasty on political blogs in the end.
I expect more 'to the death' incidents like this as we become more like America.
I agree Iain. We can discuss views, and politics, or we can attack each other. The former is fun for those interested in politics, the latter is just dull, pointless and gives people ulcers.
Were British, we are supposed to be above that sort of thing ;)
Mind you I have had an internet stalker (who even turned up at my house) for 7 years now! I stll get the occasional abusive email!
Well I get your drift - and even have some sympathy - but frankly I find it all rather amusing. An entertaining reflection of human nature, pure and simple. But I think we can sort the wheat from the chaff without yet another appeal to 'community', whatever that over-used piece of trendy meaningless verbiage is supposed to mean in this particular context.
Every blog has its bete noire: the Anti-Blog at which it snipes, from time to time. Harry's Place loathes the SWP blog Lenin's Tomb, and vice verse.
However - and this is the key point - I think bloggers should apply the principle of charity to their relationships with other bloggers. Whatever I might think of the political positions of other blogs, at least the bloggers involved have gone to the trouble of putting their views out there, debating them, providing a forum in which they can be challenged, and so on.
In other words, more should unite bloggers than divide them.
A little courtesy, on a personal rather than political level, would be appreciated.
Some of these little blogging wars say more about the people perpetrating them than anything else. Tim Ireland in particular has behaved like a child. It doesn't only seem to affect the left either,some Conservatives and UKIPers have been equally pathetic.
Having said that,these wars can be entertaining and they are probably useful in that they prevent the blogging community taking itself too seriously.
"We're now in a situation where people who I have always regarded as sensible people, even friends, have decided that certain bloggers on the Right are their mortal enemies who must be destroyed."
Sorry, Iain, but this was always the case. You can be friendly with the Left if you like, and it can make life pleasanter; but always sup with a long spoon. When push comes to shove, left-wing political belief is always based on intolerance and malice. Too many people on the Right have either forgotten, or never realised, that.
To paraphrase the maestro Arsene Wenger,
"we play our game- and we let other teams play theirs- what other teams do is not a matter for us- what matters is our focus on our game".
Sadly, I missed all these blog wars.
Where, when, who, many dead?
I agree with some of what Alex Swanson said.
This type of thing will continue simple because right leaning blogs such as yours have become so successful they are seen as a threat.
The latest ratcheting up of these petty and vindictive attacks was simple because of your investigation into the Smith Institute.
Expect things to get worse nearer the next GE.
Rise above it and ignore them, but more importantly just keeping blogging away in your own style and don't change a thing!
I've been following the blog wars quite closely and as with most things that run and run, there's a fair amount to be said for both sides.
Tim has a few very good points but has over egged the omlette and, if I can mix metaphors, is in danger of becoming a one-trick pony.
Having said that, your piece smacks of over-simplification: The Smith Institute but not Policy Exchange for example, or asking for an apology/explanation but not mentioning that transparency and accountability in blogging was at the heart of the matter to start with etc etc. You can only really do this because most of your readers are either time poor or willfully ignorant of the majoirty of what constitutes British political blogging.
I know you can't be expected to answer for Guido, but neither you nor he has ever actually engaged with the issues at hand, and that is a serious criticism, although I must say its nothing less than i expect from someone who has political aspirations.
The whole thing, whilst vaguely entertaining, has left everyone involved looking just that bit more stupid and a hell of a lot more self-obsessed.
Hear, hear - completely in support of you Iain - or Grandmother Goose as I affectionately call you on my blog.
Let's stop fighting each other and get back to what really matters - thinking up new insults for Hazel Blears.
You see Alex, your sweeping comments about 'the Left' are equally callow and wrong. Stupid though socialism may be (and I feel the same way about it as I do about conservatism), many of its adherents are perfectly affable people.
I would like to use this space to add that Tim Ireland has also used his unique style against me simply for writing a post supporting you and Guido. I have decided that I do not want him commenting on my site, he gives me the shivers. Neither will I reply to his emails demanding an explanation, so it's pointless him sending any more. And for the record Tim, I am most certainly not your "darling".
I almost expect someone, The Simpsons like, to shriek "Will someone PLEASE think of the children!!?".
Calling this a blog war seems a bit melodramatic to me, this is a storm in a tea cup and will look as such when the gloves come off (and they will) in the run up to the next General Election.
In that heated context I really can't see this fragile 'gentlemen's' agreement lasting...
Well said Iain. With so much of real consequence happening in the world this blog vs blog stuff is parochial , adolescent nonsense and more importantly a distraction from the activities of those who are actually in power. You would think that the Connaught meeting between Gordon and Rupe would be of more concern to anyone with a concern for our democracy.
Well said Iain.
Your post at least explains what was going on yesterday at Guido's. (If I'm reading between the lines correctly).
I must say all the "Iain Dale's a Liar" stuff has left me scratching my head the past week - and you've explained it rather well. I did waste 10 minutes of my life trying to follow the other blog's gripe only to find it was trivial in the extreme.
It all smacks of an Alistair Campbell - style bully/bluster/change the subject "blackmail" campaign
I just wish I knew how to do that sort of thing with a banner AND make it appear on my posts.
It was entertaining at first but then it became increasingly dull and childish. The fact that you were called "Liar, liar pants on fire" on Bloggerheads just goes to show how far things had descended. I'm glad you've made this post insofar as it might help bring the whole thing to an end.
ALEX said-but always sup with a long spoon. When push comes to shove, left-wing political belief is always based on intolerance and malice. Too many people on the Right have either forgotten, or never realised, that. ..
I do feel you have a point here Alex and those who are atracted to left wingery are often personally odious as well .There is no point pretending that your caste of mind has nothing to do with it. This is not a football team. Iain seems to want to keep a wide spectrum on side and with laudabe motives no doubt.I have often wondered if it would be possible in the end .
As CS Lewis said there are an infinite number of answers until your know which is right .Then there is one
Get over it guys. There is too much discussion of the blogosphere in the British blogosphere. There are many other things to write about. Navel-gazing is sooooo dull.
Hrm, methinks there is a great deal of jealousy involved in this whole spat. And with Guido's success it was inevitable that it was going to happen.
The fact that some in the MSM are trying to fan the flames says more about their agenda than anything else.
anon 2:40pm Tom Watson of betrayal and failed regicide fame pontificating? The nerve of that man !How did Tone describe him : "disloyal, discourteous and wrong" wasn't it? Tom should return to purdah and reconcile himself to political obscurity . He's rightly held in very low-esteem by the right and the left and any declamation of his carries zero credibility.
The left side of the British blogosphere is boring and irrelevant, so who cares what they think?
It's the same old politics of envy -- Dale, Staines and Montgomerie get noticed, lefty bloggers don't.
Get over it, comrades.
Gordon's lucky to have friends like Tom Watson and the other obsessive fella isn't he? *cough*
Interestingly, whilst this has been going on, the Blogpower War ceased some time back.
Traditional spelling preferred....
When are you going to out yourself as Nick Robinson, Iain ?.
Well said Iain.
"freedom, as Rosa Luxembourg [sic] said, is ‘freedom for the other fellow’. The same principle is contained in the famous words of Voltaire: ‘I detest what you say; I will defend to the death your right to say it.’ If the intellectual liberty which without a doubt has been one of the distinguishing marks of western civilisation means anything at all, it means that everyone shall have the right to say and to print what he believes to be the truth"
I thank you, my blood pressure thanks you, and my sanity thanks you.
I do enjoy coming to your blog, and usually do so several times a day. But over the last fortnight, as the Tim And Guido Show spilled over to this blog, it has become increasingly uncomfortable. Tedious, annoying, and more than a little creepy. I can see why you said you felt like you had a stalker. Such obsession is eyebrow-raising, to say the least.
Let's hope the truce will hold and the previous enjoyment of being here will resume.
I am as confused by this as I am when I have been listening to the 7pm news and find myself listening to 2 mins of the Archers.
Various comments are made on this blog which refer to other blogs.
They refer to people like Tim Ireland and Tom Watson. When you follow the links they go to places called Pickled Politics or Guido 2.0.
Or you see a reference here to Manic and follow a link to a site called Bloggerheads [or it might be vice versa].
Who are all these people ? How are they related to each other ? To be honest, I care about this as much as I do the Archers, but if you are going to mention these things, you have a duty to explain yourselves.
In the same way that 'acronyms' have to be spelled out on Radio 4.
I do hope this ends this nonsence. It is beyond tiresome - it is reminiscent of how Hitler would send his brownshirts to shout down the opposition. Whowever these people are they appear to be intolerant, embittered bigots.
I had no idea who Tim Ireland was so ggoled him and find this so apt description on his website.
"He was born in Australia, spent much of his youth enjoying the status of a 'gifted' student, and then went on to struggle through his formative years at a school full of children far more gifted than himself. This led to a bitterness that pollutes the core of his being to this very day."
That bitterness seeps through in every post he makes
leon - a very interesting link there, my son, very interesting - I think it may be only a matter of time before Yasmin Alibhai Brown decides that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em...
I think Iain should have one of those little counters added to the blog to show the number of days since YAB dissed him on the box, to see how long she can hold out before joining the blogosphere..
I'm sure 'New Statesman Towers' may have some spare office space that she could utilise..
Of course you're upsetting the likes of Watson and Ireland - well done. Most people who are attracted to your site, and Guido's are perfectly capable of sifting through the information and deciding what's true and what is wishful thinking. That's why you and Guido have the most impressive web stats. So Watson and Ireland don't like it - tough. If they want to get all bitchy, ignore them and more particularly don't give them the oxygen of publicity. It only diverts more people to their pathetic efforts and enables them to claim they are more popular than they actually are.
As Ireland has failed to grasp, there are no "rules" in the bloggosphere - which is why it's actually quite interesting. So don't sink to their level.
The Guido thing is painfully simple - either he can produce the Guardian retraction which he has been waving around all weekend like an invisible scimitar - or he cannot.
GF has made a 2nd career out of smearing - it is pathetic to spit the dummy when he gets a bit of needle in return.
As for this post, well it seems slightly ridiculous to say you won't hit back and then immediately hit back almost in the next paragraph. Iain has attempted to climb the moral high ground and promptly tumbled off.
Girls, girls, no more scratching and pulling hair, please.
Why would you say 'isn't Tim Ireland one too'? about a word you dont know the meaning of?
Your defense / explanation doesnt really make any sense.
Let's leave the bitchfights for Big brother shall we?
"Iain has spoken. End communication!"
A bit hard on yourself there Iain. Your communication skills are not THAT bad.
If the blogosphere wants to rise above a glorified gossip shop then it needs to set itself higher standards. We all know that the current lible laws are unrealistic and unenforceable but that is not an argument for doing nothing.
In the meantime you/Guido/whoever will continue to libel those you disagree with and they will libel you back. My approach is squabbling children (mainly my own) is to assume that they are all guilty!
If you want to assume the moral high ground Mr Dale try and put forward some constructive proposals that your rivals may accept.
Come on! If you want this - actually normal behaviour in the salons, newsgroups and chatrooms - to stop then organise your side to stop! Given the vulnerability of PE the rants about The Sith are misguided.
The attack, attack, attack and tease, tease, tease is very often coming from Fawkes and Dale, albeit in different forms. And if Yasmin is meaning that some blogging is contributing to a decline in media standards in general then she may well be right. A newspaper can quote blogger A or blogger B and run a story their legals would not otherwise allow them to run.
More glass houses and stone throwing I'm afraid. I'm new to this game and have founf myself falling into a few of the traps set by right wing bloggers and even relaying their stories. But all in all these things come and go and if there is hostility now then there will proabbly be peace in a few days time.
Tom Watson meanwhile is a politician through and through and quite able in the nuancing of truths until they are scarcely true. But at least on the ridiculous "coup" he had something to lose and promptly lost whereas the careerists tossers in his wake hardly had their size 12s on the ladder.
Alex Swanson said:
"When push comes to shove, left-wing political belief is always based on intolerance and malice. Too many people on the Right have either forgotten, or never realised, that."
The comments here insulting Tim Ireland make a mockery of this statement. Your own sentiments here are disingenuous to say the least Iain, but I'm prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt and remove the liar button from my own blog. Others will come to very different conclusions.
An Open page to Iain Dale
Seems to include everybody including Suz Blog
Allow me to be the voice of reason. You're all wrong and only I'm right.
I want an apology from Watson for lying that he only visited Brown in Scotland for baby talk.
"Why would you say 'isn't Tim Ireland one too'? about a word you dont know the meaning of?"
I didn't hear the piece, but it is certainly possible for an interviewer to take a word in context and question whether it applied equally to a second person without actually knowing what the word meant. Often context will show, if not the meaning at least why that description is used, and if the same reasoning applies to the other party then it is perfectly apt to ask if the description does too.
On that note it would also back up Iain's asserion that he was only asking, not actually stating his own opinion.
My only question is why have you left the comments section open on a post in which you state repeatedly that you will not be entering into further dialogue?
Surely that would make you seem a little disingenuous in what your original post stated, wouldn't you agree? (Note the operative word: seem).
Perhaps you would like to revise the appearance you have created for yourself by issuing a further statement calling for everyone (icluding those who have posted here, both in agreement with your statement and otherwise) to cease discussing this? In which case, I would advise disabling all comments on that final final post.
I've never read Tim Ireland's blog before. It is my personal and sincere belief that he is an obsessive who has found the perfect outlet for his frustrated ambitions in posting silly e-mails in the middle of the night;
for someone in marketing he doesn't know much about user interface design.
Indeed, fancy not knowing what the word 'nihilistic' meant. Did you have a state education ?
The irony, that so many rightwingers have used the comments section of this post to continue to spout their bilious attacks is not, it appears, lost on them.
A bit of self-awareness wouldn't go amiss methinks.
The same principle is contained in the famous words of Voltaire: ‘I detest what you say; I will defend to the death your right to say it.’
One day someone will reference this claim to Voltaire until then we must ascribe it to a biographer c.1900 who probably had a Boris Johnson facility with quotations
Another Brownite cabal's plot ends in ignominious diaster and humiliation.
dynamite [2.58 pm] You say, "Stupid though socialism may be ... many of its adherents are perfectly affable people."
True, but they often have a blind spot. They think that any reasonable person can only agree with them; ergo that anyone who disagrees with them must be actuated by malice.
Bullies like to claim that some superior calling justifies their persecution. Most witch-hunts begin with sanctimonious self-approbation . Tom and those he manipulates on behalf of Gordon have shown their tendency to resort to authoritarian pack-instinct brutality and victimization. You've handled yourself with dignity Iain.
Iain duck the netcops have caught up with you ,where ever you go they are there ,you will blog the way we say , singing to mr Blair's band I presume ,and yes I have being looking at the different blogs ,and I did see BNP ,guess what guy's I dont give a toss , I like Guido's and Ian's blog and as long as they carry on I will read them.
Iain, we're with you all the way - your traffic will reflect this fact! As a new blogger, I suppose I've got all this to look forward to?
Is Time Ireland a Fib Dum by any chance?
Iain, I commend your interview style: asking leading questions using words you don't understand. Well done.
In the spirit of reaching out to those who seem to have developed an unhealthy obsession with me...
You've got to admire the shear audacity of that.
How nice a rating's war ,lobster seems to like his stats ,Iain the hustings seems to have started ,oh joy , enjoy your blogging but not your tie's , do you want to call me nothing ,everybody else does.
The basic problem is that some people are having to taste their own medicine. Having had years of a left wing agenda with the BBC taking the lead, they do not like the right fighting back. They do not like it on the back foot as you experienced with Polly Toynbe.
Iain dont let them get you down just keep to the facts and the truth.
As to flame wars - well, one time I got Matt Gwier to shut up....
To those who think it's a bit harsh on Tim Ireland... well, if you don't want to dance, don't get up when the music starts. He is acting like an obsesive. In the Good Old Days (TM) on USENET, we knew that type so very well. It's always September on the Internet....
I remember when Tailwind broke. The good old MSM got all upset because their trousers were down and the blinds were up... and along came the complaints of the "right-wing conspiracy on the Internet".
Piece of advice to those muttering about conservative think tanks et al. If you have got a legitimate complaint, make it to the Charity Commission. Do something. Sitting around muttering about how your big mate will make them all pay is lame. Guido has got his spade out and done something. Iain has started the beginings of something. What have you done apart from whine?
Tim Ireland/ Manic/ Guido 2.0 is quite simply a loon. He has no insight into this condition of his, and so there is no point in challenging him. Best to turn the other cheek, or it will wind him up even further. I think Ellee summed it up nicely: "he gives me the shivers". Well done, Ellee!! Keep up the good work, Iain.
Must say that I was getting really fed up with the nasty, spiteful, uncalled for and highly offensive postings here, some of which were ratcheted out at 3 minute intervals by the same contributor. What the point of that was is anyone's guess, but I sincerely hope it has now ended.
Anyway Iain, you were perfectly correct and courageous to tackle this as you did.
Tim is I suspect slighly bitter that he Iain and Guido came to blogging later than him and overtook him so massively in popularity.
Tim Ireland's blog big problem is a complete lack generosity of spirit or sense of humour. That and an inability to learn basic blogging lessons such as keep your post's short. So while he may in the short term have a spike in traffic it won't last.
His tenacity which is his main tactic for getting attention just makes him look weird. Tim in a very real sense needs to get some perspective and I suspect a life.
Timmy Ireland always used to be sooooooo boring and po faced. At least all this blogwars stuff has made him a bit more interesting. Lets be thankful for small mercies.
Personally speaking, I knew Guido's identity from his Wikipedia entry months ago because I have worked on the Wikipedia myself over the years (it's not as much fun as it used to be).
Although I don't particularly like his background or his blog, the fact is that dance music has been one of my passions over the years and I am grateful for the fact that I have, by and large, been able to live a free life in a liberal democracy like this one.
I have really enjoyed the last few months. Dammit, I just bought five seasons of 24 partly because of your say-so. I am old enough and wise enough to make up my own mind and no trivial argument in the blogosphere is going to make any difference.
Just had a look at what Mr Ireland has to say.
Sounds like he's blogging from a bar stool in a smoky old working men's club - presumably because the other regulars have taken to avoiding him.
Blogging should be about ideas and commentary - if you haven't got anything useful to say, certainly don't have a blog.
Are bloggers allowed to criticise Gordon Brown or hasve the self-appointed moral guardians (tom, tim et al) decided, along with Rupert, that he's inviolable?
Bloody hell, Iain, you do pose some difficult issues for your loyal readers. Nevertheless, I've taken you at your word and posed the question to the regulars at the Globe Inn down the road. What I said was, " That Iain Dale says, the reaction of my accusers will go a long way to demonstrating whether the British blogosphere moves beyond its tendency to self-obsess or not. Anyone got summat to say about that?"
They were all very polite, but I got the feeling they might have had other things to think about.
"Hmmm - I'm in a similar position to you right now Iain".
That's Rob Fenwick the "love me I'm a god and can do no wrong. My partner plays an Oboe", LibDem kid.
The obnoxious twit. How dare he compare himself with Iain Dale. He's not in the same league. Not fit to lick his boots.
I can't hear myself think in the Corner Shop today, my customers are going mental!
Walk quietly and carry a big stick!
Surely the point is that no-one is forced to read any blog, no-one has to pay a licence fee to bloggers, and no-one has to purchase a daily view of a blog - so if anyone doesn't like what Iain says, or the way that he says it, s/he can just go away.
Iain, ignore the loon and the semi-literate MP, I find your site interesting and informative, and I'm grateful for the information I get from you, Guido, and all the lively, amusing and informative posters.
Can we get back to poking Prescott with a stick now? :¬)
In the past few days you have shown an amazing amount of restraint, particularly in response to a certain Antipodean nutter.
This guy needs professional help. He obviously has certain talents (like putting Boris Johnson's web site together) but his recent behaviour against yourself and Guido would worry anyone.
Best ignore him...he's not worth it.
I have been warned to stay clear of this untidy business but I run over quickly and give you a big hug 'cause I know you're a good boy - or at least you were when I knew ye.....xxx
Gordo is inviolable?
That's not what I've heard.
"I think Ellee summed it up nicely: "he gives me the shivers""
Must admit that when I discovered that he had picked my comment on Guido's site today as the "One" I found it a bit creepy. I hope that he and his friends get a life shortly.
That is the problem with discussion that take place outside of the pub -- not only do people utter fighting words from a safe distance, they also get petty and mean because they all too often forget that this collection of letters on the screen is actually another living, breathing human being.
Classic case of netrage, I'm afraid, or, to update the term, 'blograge'.
Und willst du nicht mein Bruder sein, dann schreib ich dir die Ehre klein...
You seem to be defining blog war as people having a go at you. I think perhaps you need to get out more. I was blissfully unaware of this spat before I read this post and I shall be making no efforts to find out more now.
I'm a lifelong Labour voter (until Iraq, that is). I consider Iain's and Guido's blogs to be an essential part of the democratic process, and applaud both of them in their efforts to uncover what the Labour Party is trying so hard to cover up. Quite *what* part democracy plays in our country any more is hard to say, but it's not a given any more, and this bunch would gladly take it away at the drop of a hat, so authoritarian and so paranoid have they got.
Keep up the good work, Iain & Guido.
I read some of the bloggerheads site and rather wish I hadn't as I now feel unclean. It isn't a very good site considering its creator is supposed to be a technowhiz. I guess the diatribe against Dale and Guido is motivated by jealousy due to the fact that these "amateurs" have probably the most successful blogs in the country, if not the planet.
May I just say that I come to this with no particular loyalty to any of the blogs involved, and I have to say Iain that your defence of yourself is a little disingenuous.
Tim Ireland/Manic's original criticism was of Guido's comments policy. Guido has not responded to that. His double standards when faced with some revelations about his own past - comparable to his own variety of political gossip - is telling.
Your own involvement, calling/impliedly calling Tim Ireland a "nihilist" then calling someone a liar when they pointed to this, has not been dealt with. Your semi-apology is a bit pathetic I'm afraid.
The rather unpleasant name calling I've seen in these comments are more personal and nasty than any I have seen on any "left wing" sites on this issue, so whoever it was who said that "the left" is characterised by malice and intolerance is really living in a glass house.
Take a good look at yourselves people before casting stones.
As Private Eye and Michael Crick have both raised questions about the Smith Institute will they be subjected to similar unpleasantness on behalf of Gordon's thugs in the blogosphere?
To "the great terror" - if you think any of this is about "Gordon's thugs" then you really haven't been reading the blogs that you are criticising.
The issue raised by some bloggers about the piece on the Smith Insitute was not whether or not it was breaking the rules on charities - it may well be doing so - but that Iain Dale is himself a trustee of a very similar think tank, but failed to declare that. That absence of any such declaration casts doubt on his bona fides in that case.
Look, erm, can't...can't, well, I mean, can't we all, all of us.. can't we all, j-j-just, get along???
I have gone through the posts on this thread today and deleted several anonymous posts which were offensive - not to me but to others. I'm going to be much tougher on this in future. Too many people think they can post anynoymous rubbish on here and get away with it. No longer.
Well said, Iain. Further squabbles only undermine the respectable image bloggers are trying to cultivate, and give further ammunition to the "old" media and their anti-blogging agenda.
Katherine you're a little wide-eyed, aren't you aware of Tom Watson's relationship with Tim Ireland?
"you really haven't been reading the blogs that you are criticising."
No one does, that why the authors of these blogs have re-located here Katherine, like pilot fish.
The lack of loyalty of these nu-lab types is incredible, they're cheerfully blithe to attacks on Tony these days, but discover a rancid self-righteousness when anyone dares question the cult of personality of Gordon. I almost feel sympathy for TB, really. What posessed these blogging nitwits to make a 'moral' stand on behalf of Gordon's squalid Smith Institute? I think Gordon has all the help he needs with Rupert on board.
I've had an Iain fueding with me on my blog. I am ignoring him and his 17-year-old fans. I'm talking about radio presnter, Iain Lee. not Iain Dale, of course.
Blog wars are good for readership. Just like on "Big Brother," controvesy is good for ratings. People grow bored with "love fests."
Iain - Never explain, never apologise. It doesn't do any good at all.
Someone anonymous said:
To those who think it's a bit harsh on Tim Ireland... well, if you don't want to dance, don't get up when the music starts. He is acting like an obsesive. In the Good Old Days (TM) on USENET, we knew that type so very well. It's always September on the Internet....
That misrepresents the situation completely. Tim Ireland has been around the British political scene for years. He knows how it works. It's newcomers like Iain Dale and Paul Staines who are the clueless "Septembrists" here.
"blog purge", my point was that the criticism from "the great terror" accusing other bloggers of being Gordon Brown's thugs was coming from a point of ignorance, since they clearly hadn't read the blogs in question.
Since you have now confirmed that point, perhaps "the great terror" could perhaps conclude, in a spirit of openness and honesty, that he has no idea whether or not those bloggers are Gordon's thugs and that therefore his comment has no merit.
And the poster calling themselves "ingenuos innocence" - why don't you tell me about Tom Watson's connection to Tim Ireland instead of implying something. Honestly, just come out with it. I've been reading all this stuff from a point of view of having no point of view. I am merely voicing an opinion from the outside. If you have something to add to the debate, then do so with cold hard facts and I'll be grateful.
Katherine: Tim Ireland helped Tom Watson get blogging in the first place (both, if I remember correctly, in selling the idea of blogging and also sorting out the technical side of things).
[Apologies for lowering the tone of the comments by being polite and factual. I'm sure others can resume the insults and innuendo momentarily.]
Okay, Mark P - now you've told me the link between Tom Watson and Tim Ireland (and thank you for that) - now would you care to tell me how it fits into this whole debacle? What are you suggesting is the result of this link?
Katherine - I have no inside information as to what other people are wanting to imply, sorry!
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