Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It's War in Cyberspace

I have long believed that Guido Fawkes and Tim "Manic" Ireland are the two greatest creative genii in the political blogosphere. They also come from completely different political persuasions and have wildly diverging views about just what the purpose of political blogging ought to be. So it's barely surprising that Tim has chosen to mark the return of his Bloggerheads blog from a period of semi-dormancy with this coruscating attack on his right-wing alter ego.

It's an extremely long post, but in summary, Tim argues that Guido is a danger to political blogging and accordingly should be sent to Coventry by the rest of us by having his link removed from our blogrolls. Guido has now hit back with the accusation that Tim is basically launching the "flame war" as a means of kick-starting his "moribund" blog.

Well, for my part, I won't be removing either of them from my blogroll, for the simple reason that both of them are blogs I like and admire. Just as Guido has helped keep the pressure on No 10 over the cash-for-honours scandal, so Tim has uncovered some great stories of his own such as exposing the Johnson4Leader plot and highlighting the journalistic shortcomings in the case of Mirza Tahir Hussain.

So, sorry to sit on the fence guys - but in my view the blogosphere is big enough for both of you.

How the two sides are lining up so far:

For Manic

Chicken Yoghurt
Tom Watson
Stuart Bruce
Ministry of Truth

For Guido

Theo Spark
Tim Worstall
The UK Daily Pundit

Sitting Beside Me on the Fence....

Labour Watch
Liberal England
Lib Dem Voice

Keen observers may have noticed that, with the possible exceptions of UK Daily Pundit and myself, the debate is thus far polarising on political lines....

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James Higham said...

You could hardly do otherwise, Paul. However, it is true that Guido doesn't give a toss about fellow bloggers and perhaps he could retort: 'Well who does? Blogging is about what we want to say, not a charity.' Possibly but still I prefer your approach.

dizzy said...

Tim discovered johnson4leader?

Paul Linford said...

Have I suffered a memory lapse with that one Dizzy? I seem to recall that both you and Tim were involved in it somewhere along the line, but apologies if it was you who had it first.

dizzy said...

No worries Paul. Yes, I discovered the domains, and I ran with it. Tim merely picked up my post and added the "there was a Blairite plot before there was a Brownite one" (note also that it was I who first pointed out the connections between the coup plotters as well).. that was a good month for my blog actually :)

Tim said...

Hi Paul.


Dizzy, I think you'll find I could only add "there was a Blairite plot before there was a Brownite one" because I'd spent some days preceding doing a lot of work (with and without Guido's help). You said it yourself at the time:

"Bloggerheads has quite a dossier on David Taylor the arch-Blairite."

Now, getting back to why Guido *spiked* that story...

dizzy said...

Tim, as I said to you already, your stuff had _nothing_ to do with the Johnson leadership domains. Stop making out you had a piece in that story when you didn't. You were no different to me linking to a wikipedia entry for reference about someone.

dizzy said...

oh yes, and stop this nonsense about Guido spiking the story. He told me about the source thing and I accepted it.. I don't actually no what the problem is there, but then I'm not on a moral high horse throwing my toys everywhere screaming for more milk.

MorrisOx said...

Guido is sometimes unreliable, regularly obscene, sexist to the core and at times verging on the rabid. Four very good reasons why I rate his blog as the perfect antidote to New Labour and its tedious acolytes.

And Tim? Forensic, unafraid, but takes life a bit too seriously sometimes.

Tim said...

Dizzy, instead of working so hard to misrepresent my position, maybe you should take a closer look at your own.


dizzy said...

get stuffed.

Guido Fawkes said...

Blog Brother is watching!

Tim opens new front in battle for blogospheric hegemony.

Guido buys popcorn.

Tim said...

Guido, you naughty boy... here you are on someone else's blog again... and less than 10 minutes after you sent that "Take it to your own blogs ladies" email.

The invitation stands: respond to the issues raised on my blog, ON my blog (as it offers right of reply and yours does not).

[Hi Paul. Sorry about the mess. I'll tidy up as best I can on the way out.]

Anonymous said...

Tim - can't you just let Guido get on with writing the most interesting blog on the web and leave your 'blog ettiquette" bollocks to the three people in the world who care?

Blog will eat itself

The Periodic Englishman said...

Hello Mr Linford - do you have space on your fence for another? It is a train wreck, to be sure, but there is a certain joy to be had in watching the tragedy unfold. When civil war erupts in Blogoslavia, the best seats are always to be found on the fence. Strange, but true.

Incidentally, I like both blogs (only just discovered Tim's, right enough, but it seems outstanding) and shall continue to read them through my fingers for the forseeable future.

Budge up.

Kind regards etc....

Anonymous said...

Hi, nice fence. Mind if I join you?

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is how Guido could answer Tim's "issues" anyway. Tim's starting position appears to be that Guido is a dishonest liar, therefore anything Guido says will be dismissed as such.

According to Tim, if Guido is innocent he would turn on all the comment features that Tim requested. But this doesn't prove he's innocent anyway because it will not work retrospectively. By implication Tim will still be able to make the claim that he's been dishonest in the past, and would know doubt shift the goalpost and say that by turning on features he was conceding defeat to Tim's "rightness".

Tim has also requested that Guido proves he isn't doing something. That's just silly, because you can't possibly prove that you have not done something, especially given the previous points about no functioning retrospective changes and predictable shifting goalposts.

Basically, there's no point in Guido responding to any of Tim's "issues" because they've been deliberated presented in a way that means whatever is said the conspiracy theory can be maintained by him.

Tim said...

sock puppet:

If he makes the changes I mention on his blog, the revised timestamps will propagate throughout the system, old comments and all.

If any post-thread revisionism has been going on, it will be obvious. If Guido makes a few deletions before he does it, this too will be obvious. If appears to be an all-clear, then I'll be happy to clearly re-classify the sock-puppet content as abstract theory.

OK, that's one point covered....

Anonymous said...


I like the way you jumped to point 2 and ignored 1,3, and 4 though. I imagine having the inherent bullshit of your arguments pointed out to you must be upsetting.

Now run along and play some more Freeciv. You can let some of that anger out by raping and pillaging.

Tim said...


My willingness to give Guido the benefit of the doubt if a simple and quite useful timestamp operation comes clean covers 1, the same entry makes clear that this is a way for Guido to prove that he hasn't done a certain thing (at least, in a way that's good enough for me) which at the very least addresses 3, and 4 merely a rather opiniated summary of 1, 2 and 3.

Anonymous said...

deaf or blind?

Changing the timestamps on the crappy old blogger won't work. Blogger can't even migrate a blog like Guido's to its new platform, so thinking it's all going to propagate automagically is a little naive.

And even if it did work, you've spent the last few weeks deliberately posting crap comments over and over again on Guido's blog (using the Blogger posting exploit you're apparently "outraged" by) knowing that they would be deleted thereby providing you with the "evidence" if he acquiesed to your "demands".

Basically, you've stacked the deck, which is ironic given that you accuse Guido of being dishonest.

Let's just talk at those "demands" that are "good enough" for you though. Who exactly are you Tim? You're no one. You think you're some sort of Internet guru and self-appointed ethical blog crusader, but really you're just a fat bloke with a keyboard and website. So, who are you to tell anyone on the Internet what to do with their site? You're no more important than the 68 year old grandma in Illinois looking at shemale midget porn right this minute.

Tim said...

sock puppet:

I could easily ignore you because of the way you close your argument, but I won't.

(Paul, if you see fit to delete it, you may was well delete this, too. Cheers.)

1. What Blogger can and cannot migrate doesn't come into it. This is an existing feature on the old version of Blogger and it will behave exactly as I have said it would. The whole thing would take less than a minute to enact, and maybe 5 to complete.

2. Sorry, you're not going to corner me with this. Guido keeps a very close eye on his stats and I've been VERY open with him about my comment activity over the past few weeks. If I've planted evidence as you suggest, then he sure as hell knows about it.

3. The only way I've stacked the deck is by offering Guido a right of reply when he does no such thing himself. I've already openly acknowledged this here and pledged not to be an arse about it.

4. People know who I am. Who the f**k are you, if you don't mind me asking?

[Damn it. Another messy carpet. As I said, delete if you wish, Paul. Just so I can TRACK YOU DOWN AND K*]

Anonymous said...

You really have lost the plot haven't you Tim? Delusions of grandeur, inflated sense of self-importance. I saw some of the comments you were posting on Guido's sight in the early hours of the morning and they made Jack Nicholson's efforts in the Shining look sane. Any non nutter person would have deleted the bilge you were posting; sometimes the same sentence repeated about a hundred times. When Guido deletes this mindless, filibustering graffiti you cry foul and claim that this validates your argument. How dishonest can you get? I don't suppose this squalid 'flaming' of yours is probably just a smokescreen for a forthcoming declaration of fealty and obeisance to Gordo isn't it?

Anonymous said...

1: You're talking bullshit. Blogger is not as good as you think it is.

2: I think I am going to corner you with this. You've not been "VERY" open with your readership about your comment activity over the past few weeks. You've pontificated in your posts about how Blogger has dangerous flaws in its comment posting features but you don't mention how you've been exploiting those flaws yourself to post hundreds of comments in individual threads on Guido's. You take the moral high ground but the truth is you've been carrying out a semi-denial of service attacks in the middle of user conversations for weeks. If you want to see a hypocrite you should take a look in a mirror

3: No Tim, the way you've stacked the deck is as stated in the previous point. You've been systematically attacking the comment section of Guido's blog. You're no better than a 419 scumbag spammer. Then again, you are in SEO/marketing, which is a euphemism for the “spam department”. The only thing "good enough for me" is for you to prove you haven't stacked the deck.

4: Of course I don't mind you asking who I am Tim. Basically, I'm considering whether I should become you're worst fucking nightmare. Currently I'm not sure I can be arsed. It could be fun though watching you try to track me though.

More Freeciv?


sock puppet

Paul Linford said...

I've no problem with this thread being used as a forum for this debate, and I won't be doing any deleting - but can we tone the f-words down please?

Anonymous said...

Guido does censor his blog and as a result I keep my visits to a minimum, probably once a week. Keeping the visits the site and the page load to one per visit will affect his income stream.

Guido and Ian Dale (I also keep visits to his site to a minimum, although I have personally never caught him censoring my comments) are so very 2006. It will be hard to sell last year’s gossip.

Tim said...

sock puppet:

I won't be dancing for you any more, sorry.

Anonymous said...

You left out Suz Blog who is obviously on the side of Guido


Praguetory said...

As I've just banned Tim from my site you can add me to the Guido list.

Guido 2.0 said...

Manic thinks PragueTory is being a bit shy about why he banned Manic from commenting on his website.

Anonymous said...

I've seen Tim Ireland lose the plot on one of his overnight posting sprees on Guido's site. Banning him from my site is merely nipping his activities in the bud so that my site has a normal discourse. As for Tim's blood-spattered Guido's spoof, well that says it all about Tim really.

Guido 2.0 said...

Manic thinks you are continuing with a deliberate brief, but he will graciously leave you to it for now.

Praguetory said...

I wish I could believe it.

Guido 2.0 said...

Always with the last word, eh PragueTory? Never anything of substance... just the last word will do.

Manic hopes that what is happening should be obvious to anyone brains, but he will spell it out, just in case:

At Paul Staines' website (where he operates under the pseudonym 'Guido Fawkes'), the agenda is tightly controlled by a deliberately skewed comment policy (not unlike the one described here) and rather selective deletions.

Paul Staines has a small group of supporters, using a variety of pseudonyms. If we are lucky, they each stick to one and/or never leave comments in a completely anonymous fashion.

If anyone challenges their agenda or catches them playing their reindeer games (or, if they just decide to go after someone for one reason or another), these supporters will go forth on other people's weblogs, running wild with false claims, misleading suggestions, a variety of straw men arguments and (important bit coming up) pushing a brief that is designed to undermine the credibility of their target.

Further, because they are pursuing the same agenda, but acting under a variety of names on different websites, they have the luxury of being able to operate with a staggering level of hypocrisy and/or using a series of contradictory arguments.

An example? Let's focus for a moment on the 'he's insane and possibly dangerous' aspect of the current brief:

You have observed a red background with black splashes and you appear to be passing it off as some kind of veiled threat. Compare this with someone else from Team Guido here, attempting to pass off actual veiled threats as casual statements of fact.

Classic astro-turfing techniques... which is why it is so amusing that you banned poor old Manic from your website for making this one single, polite and pertinent comment... before weaving that into your woefully transparent brief.

dizzy said...

You don't understand the difference between hack and crack. Not unsual for someone with limited technical ability and minimal understanding.

Guido 2.0 said...

So you weren't brandishing a tyre iron, you were merely trying to show me that you were capable of changing a tyre. Gotcha.

dizzy said...

No, but you should probably sort out your security. Willing to help you on that, for a fee of course.