Thursday, April 16, 2009

When I was a member of my university's Labour Club, a few other members of that august institution tried to pass a motion of censure on me, for being close friends, nay housemates, with a known Tory. Even then, in the first flush of idealism, it seemed absurd to let political allegiance decide friendships, especially as my political allies were such a dull bunch socially. Now it seems even more mad, but still it goes on. "How can you talk to him? He's a Conservative." Because he's fun and interesting, now piss off.

In the fun and interesting camp is a chap called Iain Dale, whom I came to know when he was running a bookshop in London called Politico's. We disagreed pretty vehemently on just about every single thing politically, but we both had a thing for the Eurovision Song Contest and he was/is the owner of a very smart little dog, which beat politics in a game of scissors/paper/stone any day of the week. I visit his blog, still disagreeing with him pretty vehemently on any subject other than the Herreys and aniseed treats, but doing so from a position of warmth and respect.

Iain's been onto the Damian McBride thing for a while now. Indeed, he was on the 'to be smeared' list himself. With Dolly Draper denying the existence of the incriminating emails, Iain was going to file a Freedom of Information request. With the whole story now public and Iain proved right, the FoI request turned out to be unnecessary, and Iain's been making the most of his vindication, writing articles here, there and everywhere (I would say left, right and centre, but...) and appearing on almost every channel and managing to stay just this side of a gloat.

Now, following some more digging into the way LabourList - the 'e-network' run by Dolly - is funded (or not, as the case may be), Iain's had to contend with 40 calls on his private phone, some of them threatening, and emails like this, apparently promising to blow Dale's blog off the face of the Internet with denial of service attacks. The way Dale has been treated for getting too close to some uncomfortable truths is nothing short of a disgrace. If Iain's blog is DOS-ed offline, however temporarily, this will be why.

EDIT - 27/5/2010 - A follow-up post to this one appears here.

21 comments:

Tim said...

Iain gives less than half of the story and your implication that I am part of the Draper affair or his gang is a false one.

LF Barfe said...

Iain's a friend, and you've already proven yourself to be beneath contempt by making that threat, so I'm not terribly interested in hearing your version.

Tim said...

The threat I made was to disrupt the machine publishing lies about me because the author refsues to even discuss them.

Iain, your friend, has responded to this with a greatly distorted account of events, and - with moderation on - has allowed many contributors to falsely accuse me of being guilty of stalking/harassment.

LF Barfe said...

Please direct me to the posting containing the lies. I've tried searching for it, but your name is all over Iain's blog like a cheap suit.

Tim said...

Easy. There's a fresh and typical implication in Iain's clever parish notice:

So this is what you and Guido have driven Derek and McBride to: emails written under the rather bland nom de plume of "Tim".I have nothing to do with Draper or McBride or any of that, and Iain knows it. But he still aloows commnents like this, even when he has moderation on.

I'm sure Iain knows exactly what he's doing when he publishes accusations like this while I'm asking him where certain unseen evidence might be, and he's been allowing them for years.

LF Barfe said...

I was thinking more about the one where you claim he calls you a paedophile. Suggesting that you're Dolly's socko seems very mild.

LF Barfe said...

Previous responses have come within 7 or 8 minutes, but you seem to have gone oddly quiet, Tim. Is it because there's no such allegation on Iain's blog, despite what you claim in your own blog? Come on, find me where he calls you a fiddler.

Tim said...

Ah. You see? This is how confusion sets in when Iain tells less than half of this story and you won't listen to mine.

Unlike alomost every webmaster in the UK, Iain will not tell me if he has had copies of this smear submitted to his website.

As to the circumstances that led to him allowing me to be smeared as a paedophile, I suggest at this atge you ask him about it, because he refsues to talk to me about it, and banned me for pressing the matter.

LF Barfe said...

Explain it to me, Tim. I'm all ears. By email, if you'd rather - ahoyhoy@louisbarfe.com

Tim said...

I'm quiet because I am busy having other false claims removed from the order-order.com website

Shaun said...

I like Iain in spite of his politics, too (I wrote an uncomplimentary thing for El Reg about his previous venture ). He was treated abysmally by his party in his search for a seat, for the obvious reasons, yet remains uncomplainingly positive about politics. A lesson in the need to rise above this small stuff.

LF Barfe said...

Tim, I don't know the background, don't have time to search and as you're unwilling/unable to provide me with a concise summary, I suspect we'll have to leave it there. However, your email to Iain reads very much like a threat, and I'd suggest you avoid doing anything like it again, for fear of getting a/worsening an existing reputation.

Shaun - All of that, yes. I wonder what the tribal loyalists would make of the fact that a friend of mine who is a very well-known left-wing commentator happens to be the near-neighbour of a very well-known right-wing commentator, and that the two are good friends. They spar in print, and disagree over the dinner table, but none of that affects their ability to get on.

LF Barfe said...

And Tim, yes, I see where I got confused. Iain's never accused you of being a paedophile, merely stepped aside and refused to get involved when someone else did.

Tim said...

I have just now sent you a full account. All I would add to your summary is that Iain was in a unique position to help, and one of the few people who would help mne at that stage.

I still don't know exactly what he did or why... because he refuses to discuss it.

Shaun said...

Wheen and Heffer, Louis? My neighbours, too.(Not that they know it). Wheen sends his kids to my old comp: the Hefferlump, his to Eton. Both honest and consistent, according to their lights. And who can't admire Heffer's Canute-like efforts at the Telegraph?

LF Barfe said...

Thanks for the background, Tim. My reading is that he did nothing, because it wasn't really anything to do with him. His only fault was to brush you off with a polite "Yes, I'll look into it" instead of saying "Not my problem, bucko. Sorry, but there you go".

Tim said...

I asked him if he had contacted Mercer. Ha gave me the impression that he had, and knew that he was leaving me with this impression.

Imagine what might have happened had I done a Dale/Staines and rushed straight into print in a major newspaper with a claim based on what this single 'trusted source' told me; "Tory MP implicated in paedo smear shock!" closely followed by a legal letter or two, being the most likely scenario

If he didn't want to take any action, fine (well, not fine, but...) but why lie about it? Why continue to refuse to even discuss it afterwards if he wasn't lying about it?

Either way, last night and this monring resulted in Iain refusing to remove *other* false claims about me on his own website and refusing to even discuss the matter. And he's the editor of a magazine, not some beginner blogger. I expect better.

Apres la Guerre said...

There's a lot to be said in favour of a revolution in this country at the moment. This page merely confirms it.

Adam Macqueen said...

Oh my god! You made eye contact with the nutter on the bus! You should never, ever do this. I found this out the hard way a few months back...

Still, "imagine what might have happened", eh?

hope all's well
x

Tim said...

In one of those coincidences that continues to make life delightful, Adam MacQueen is the man responsible for Private Eye taking credit for the discovery of the connection between the 'Richard Tims' alias and Glen Jenvey.

It was Jenvey who finally lost it and started accusing me of paedophilia... i.e. because I took the risk on the story for which MacQueen took credit.

I don't mention this to suggest any grand conspiracy, but instead to point out that Adam should try to be at least dimly aware of the events unfolding around him before passing judgement and throwing words like 'nutter' around in the current circumstances.

(notice I managed all of that without making eye contact)

LF Barfe said...

"It's a corned beef tin."