Saturday, March 20, 2010

Will Straw's 'Evidence Based Blogging' Takes Another Hit

Will Straw of Left Foot Forward has made a tit of himself today, but can't quite bring himself to admit it. Read Fraser Nelson's blogpost to see how he did it HERE.

This isn't the first time Will has been caught out. His much trumpeted policy of "evidence based blogging" has been exposed as a complete sham and he ought to acknowledge that his blogpost was a partisan attempt at exposing Chris Grayling which has badly backfired.

Essentially, Will was trying to expose a suppsoed split between Grayling and David Cameron over the latter's announcement of a bank insurance tax. Sadly for Straw, Grayling was criticising a bank transaction tax, as proposed by Gordon Brown (the Tobin Tax), which is completely different to what Cameron announced this morning. As Fraser points, out this lie could work as a Labour Party press release (and guess what, Labour have issued just such a release), but it can't work on the internet, where lies are exposed within minutes.

A few minutes ago (15 hours after posting the initial blogpost) Will tries to wriggle out of his error by updating the story, suggesting that of course he realised all along that Grayling wasn't talking about the same thing, but the principle is still the same. Er, well, actually it's not.

I've had to learn the hard way. Sometimes you just have to admit that you've goofed. That your desire to expose your opponents trumped your normal checking mechanisms. The best thing to do is hold your hands up, admit it, apologise and move on. I've had to do it this week myself. It's never comfortable, but at least you keep the respect of your readers.

Like Fraser Nelson, I actually think Will Straw has achieved a lot with his site, but he puts it all in jeopardy with idiot stories likes this.

Go on Will. Be a 'proppah blogger' and do the right thing.

UPDATE: Will is sticking to his story and has now suspended comments on his blog. Oh dear.


Unknown said...

Isn't Will Straw the son of Jack Straw? What do you expect from that family!?

Anonymous said...

Will Straw starts off with a quote "“It’s a principle that no-one could oppose but the devil is always in the detail."
So it seems disingenuous to say that Chris Grayling is attacking the PRINCIPLE behind David Cameron's policy even if you suppose that Will swallowed the line that he was talking about the same tax without checking his facts

Evensong said...

Iain, you forgot to mention Straw has closed comments on the blog after being repeatedly chastised for the post.

I'm at loss how anyone could write something, be shown they have made a mistake, and refuse to admit the error. Or is this going to be a familiar scenario for the forthcoming election - tell a lie, leave it published and hang the consequences? If so, I think Will Straw might regret indulging in such tactics; they have a nasty way of coming back to haunt you.

Shamik Das said...

"A few minutes ago (15 hours after posting the initial blogpost)..."

Seeing as we're into correcting supposed mistakes and all that, how about, y'know, amending this blatant error!

ps. Best of luck against Arsenal!!

Will Straw said...

Two points here are important:

1. My original blog post was clear that it was the principle of unilateralism behind Cameron's policy that Grayling had attacked. After it became clear that commenters thought I was implying that Grayling had attacked the policy directly, I issued an update. This was THREE (not 15) hours after posting the original story.

2. I have apologised in the past when I have got things wrong but there is nothing to apologise for in this instance. Like Hammond in January, Grayling expressed his concern with unilateral action on the finance sector. And now Cameron supports a unilateral tax. That is certainly noteworthy.

Jabba the Cat said...

Typical leftie useful idiot approach at LFF, do a Grauniad close the comments because you can't handle the criticism.

Silent Hunter said...

I see that Willy Boy is using the "Comments are universally not agreeing with me so I'm taking my ball home" ploy. LOL

Funny how the Labour blogs when caught red handed LYING - tend to delete comments and then close down any further comment.

It's almost like the Guardian's laughably titled "Comment is Free".

I blame his early career as a drug taker - clearly it's had permanent effect on his ability to see the difference between TRUTH & LIES.

Silent Hunter said...

Sorry Will,

But you're spouting B U L L S H I T, and you don't even have the grace to admit it.

You're not really a journalist pal; your just another "My Daddy's got me this position because he's an important New Labour figure".

It's called nepotism; and there's a lot of it going on in the Corrupt Labour Party.

Anonymous said...

@Will Straw. Did it not dad, the then home secretary took injunction to black out your naughty deeds from the news media a few years ago? weren't you given a gentle slap in the wrist by the police? The two men of straw!

Michael Heaver said...

Dear, dear, dear, dear, dear!

Anonymous said...

Will Straw is destroying any credibility he had left. Chris Grayling said that the "Robin Hood Tax" or "Tobin tax" would not work. To suggest that any politician opposes the principle of an unilateral tax is ludicrous as EVERY TAX IS AN UNILATERAL TAX IMPOSED BY THAT GOVERNMENT. There is no such thing as a multilateral tax.
"there is nothing to apologise for" - perhaps not in his alternate universe where the Left are always right, but in this world he has falsely accused Chris Grayling of attacking the principle of his leader's policy when he was criticising the impracticability of some blogger's proposals, implying disloyalty, ignorance or stupidity. I think that there IS something for which an apology is merited (sorry, I cannot descend to the level of his "Oxford-educated" English)

Ian said...

I wonder how many voters will either
a. understand
about this

Ian said...

I wonder how many voters will either
a. understand
about this

Fenrir said...

Don't you just loves socialists, never ones to let the truth get in the way. Has Whelan told him what to say?

Anonymous said...

These Labour lefties will say/do anything. Checking facts? Not in their blood?
Straw, the elder man of straw when as a NUS president set the style of
saying things which were not facts and lead the way for his offspring to follow. Those days,the elder man of straw and Hodge used to curse those who were going to Oxford University when they were of Islington Council, the citadel of socialism, and destroyed school education in Islington. These days they send their offsprings to the "dreaded" Oxford University!

angry voter said...

Is this the same Will Straw that was caught selling drugs,then appoointed a governor of a primary school and finally sacked by Ed Balls?

Maverick Ways said...

Left Foot Mouthward

[hope you're feeling better]

Anoneumouse said...


I am a). a voter and b). understand it.

I will now explain it clearly to 5 friends who are potential voters.

Unsworth said...

Just underlines the theories of genetics and heredity, really.

It's in the genes, both are straw, both deaf to everything except their own views, both congenitally incapable of apologising for their own stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Is Will Straw Farmer Tupac on Pollitical Betting otherwise known as "Tim"?

Both have an obsesion with Chris Grayling. Farmer TUPAC lives in the Northwest where lets remember Jack Straw has a constietiency.

Will Straw also approached Mike Smithson for advice on how to run a blog. I make this clear Mike Smithson is OK, being the encouraging guy he is, he may have obliged in advising Will how to be a succesful blogger because mike like politics and debate even if he disagrees with it!

It would make sense for Will Straw therefore to comment on Mikes blogs under alias and though Mike is unlikey to tell who the alias might be the finger for who Tim might be points at Will Straw! It makes sense!


Maybe he was stoned when he published it?

Jabba the Cat said...

Best rename your blog as Left Foot In Mouth...

Martin S said...

Oh, dear. Will really has made a fool of himself.

Anonymous said...

If Straw has no need to apologise then why does he not defend himself on his own blog and allow comments?
An insurance policy - as I understand it also favoured by the saintly Vince (who agrees it can be done unilaterally) - is not the same as a Tobin tax.

He cuts comments because he cannot justify his stance. As Nelson says...
"The practicalities of, say, a forex tax and general corporation tax levies are materially different - as Straw will know from his time in the Treasury. He evidently spent too much time there, because he is serving up a Brownie. His post is written not from confusion, but from a careful deliberate attempt to conflate and mislead."
or as I say...
"Another lying smearing socialist bastard".

davidc said...

i suggest will straw reads tom harris's blog entitled'no excuses'