Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Ironed Sardines

Note: If you do not care about the left versus right wing blog stuff do not read this. If you want to see someone made to look silly, then read on.

Every now and again in life someone surprises you and today that has happened to me. That someone is John Hirst, the blogger that goes by the name JailHouseLawyer. He's come in for quite a big of stick over the past year or so in the comment sections of some blogs. This is because he was convicted of manslaughter, served his sentence and took the Government to the European Court of Human Rights.

The usual attacks on him have consisted of the words "axe murderer" and the like. He's also had a pop at me more than once on my blog, but I've always just took it as water off a ducks back really, had a little flame war and left it at that. This is because it's just the Internet, and a bit of argument and name calling is just that.

I've rarely agreed with him that's for sure, and to be honest, sometimes he has said things that I've personally found offensive. That said, I don't have the right not to be offended so you just let it go. Today I have seen a side of John Hirst (who for all his faults in relation to where I disagree with him) that was both honourable, honest and basically thoroughly decent. So let me explain with a back story first.

Last November, a certain blogger by the name of Tim Ireland was engaged in a one of his campaigns against a Tory. In this case it was Nadine Dorries MP and related in someway to abortion and something she had said or written. The left wing blogosphere - of which Tim belongs even though he proclaims himself politically neutral - was raging against Nadine.

To be totally honest I can't really remember what all the fuss was actually about apart from that Nadine turned comments on her blog off and it caused lots of chest puffing and indignation. The detail is meaningless to tell you the truth, because it is what followed that this post is really about.

You see, an anonymous blog appeared by the name of Ironed Sardine (an anagram of Nadine Dorries) which carried potentially actionable content about Nadine's private life. At the time, Tim Ireland, posted about the site, and made an insinuation (rather than an accusation) that it was me that had created it.

The theory went like this. I or some other nasty evil right winger, and ergo a friend of Nadine's, had set the blog up and posted about it on left wing blogs in order to associate the Left wing blogosphere with it and thus frame them and hopefully make Tim link to it and become liable. The basis of Tim's insinuation was that because I was online arguing on his blog a few hours before the site appeared I was "in the frame".

As soon as I saw Tim's post I telephoned Nadine in order to assure her that the site was nothing to do with me and to also offer my support and help to her if she needed it on anything relating to her website and the like. I did this even though she's a Liverpool fan and her great grandfather was a founder of Everton.

I didn't bother saying anything at the time because I didn't see the point, Tim's hinting at his view was bollocks anyway so why bother? However, today, Tim Ireland has posted once again about this subject, and in his usual style has done so in a way that implies I had something to do with the site which has since been removed and issued a challenge to me about it.

He's done this because I have published the email exchanges he had where he tried to set me up, and, being so convinced of his theory about the fake Nadine blog, has pondered upon why I have "so far managed to contain [my] outrage about that attempted set-up". The reason is of course simple, there was no set up unlike his attempt directed at me. Here are Tim Ireland's own words about this today
The creator [of Ironed Sardine] was attempting to pose as an opponent of Dorries under comments on several weblogs, thereby establishing those bloggers as co-bullies and publishers of links to clear libel. If it were left at that, it would be potentially damaging to all opponents of Dorries.

If I blogged about the joe-job and/or followed the trail that was so obviously dangled, there was clear risk of repeating the libel myself and making false claims about the person(s)/organisations using the relevant IP address.

Now, I wish to stress here that this was an effort to damage the opponents of Nadine Dorries with no thought for the damage it might cause her; the claims made about her sex life were quite specific and quite explicit.
The IP address in question was A quick whois informs you that it is part of a dynamic broadband pool owned by Kingston Communications. Those unaware, Kingston Communications are basically like BT were, only their monopoly is/was purely in Hull and most people there use them (or have no choice).

Now, as already mentioned, Tim has challenged me saying "What are your thoughts on the unknown author of the 'Ironed Sardine' weblog?". Presumably he is expecting silence, because I'm guilty, or I know which evil right wing bastard is right? Well I'm afraid to inform him that whilst I do have a thought on the unknown author of the 'Ironed Sardine' weblog it wasn't some nasty right winger.

The guilty party emailed me today you see, he is a regular commenter on Tim's blog, he's also someone who regularly attacks the same people Tim does. In fact, Tim, on his "Guido 2.0" blog even went so far as to write lengthy posts defending him. So with no futher ado I hand over to John Hirst's emails.
Hi Dizzy

I don't know what your thoughts are on this...
[link to Tim's post today]

It is not clear whether Tim is suggesting that you were somehow implicated in the setting up of the Ironed Sardine blog.

In any event, I was the author of that blog. The joke backfired. Initially set up as an anagram of Nadine Dories, and attack the Right, the Left instead got upset and I closed the blog.

Did I mention that John lives in Hull? Anyhow... I replied to John asking him if I could publish the emails (after having a little problem with Gmail) and his response was as follows,
Hi Phil

No the original email did not get through. (Now 2 have followed this one, must have been sent first!).

If you want to run with it, it's up to you. I stick by my original email as being the author of Ironed Sardine.

I am at a loss at to Tim's research over the IP address and my being anonymous. I have a lot of time for him. However, if he is blaming you, he's got the wrong bloke, and I don't like to see the innocent accused of wrong doing especially as in this case I am the guilty party.

This evening John has also kindly sent me an old Statcounter traffic report for "s20ironedsardine". That is the traffic counter that Tim saw his IP address in. At the time Tim also sent an email to the Kingston abuse department and today noted he "got nothing back from that report, BTW." That is because abuse departments don't reply to the person filing the report, it's standard practice, but I digress, let's get back to the plot.

One of the things I have quite regularly said is that Tim Ireland deals in pure conjecture. Today he also insinuated that I was making dropped calls to his home when his wife answered and suggested that I would not respond to such questions beyond "screaming 'conjecture'". Funnily enough I did respond to him via email saying
Fuck all to do with me mate. I don't expect you to believe that of course, and clearly I cannot prove a negative, but I suggest having your telco provider bar withheld number at their switch for a start. You have my landline number so feel free to have the records checked. I have called you on two occasions with six calls where we have both hung up on the other. That was one day in March and then one day in June. That's it. Feel free to publish this email if you want, and also feel free to say that you don't believe me if you must.
At the time of writing he hadn't published it, presumably because I did not scream conjecture. However, right now I'm not going to scream that word I am going to calmly explain what it means. You see conjecture occurs when presumptive and defective evidence leads to dangerously flawed inference, and that, I'm afraid to say, is what Tim Ireland has done here.

So I guess, what I'm trying to say to Tim in this post is that my "thoughts on the unknown author of the 'Ironed Sardine' weblog" which smeared someone I consider a friend is that Tim.... you're a great big numpty.... me old mucker!

The lyrics to 'It's A Fact!" seems appropriate again at this point.

With thanks to John Hirst for his honesty

Update: John Hirst comments

Update II: Mr Ireland has admitted his mistake whilst refusing to apologise. He has again suggested that I have been calling him constantly as well, which is completely untrue, but hey ho, I would expect nothing less.

Oh, and Tim, just to clear up this little thing about how I got your phone number. I told you before, someone gave it to me. I didn't say that I hacked a database, or anything like that. That was yet another of your inferences. What I said was merely that there is no such thing as an ex-directory phone number and you have leapt to the conclusion of a changing story.

Now, seriously, let it go and move on.


Anonymous said...

" order to associate the Left wing blogosphere with it and thus frame them .."

Given the utter crap spewed on most left-wing blogs, why should anyone bother...?

"The basis of Tim's insinuation was that because I was online arguing on his blog a few hours before the site appeared I was "in the frame"."

Tbh, that's more 'evidence' than he usually manages for one of his insane accusations!

haddock said...

I don't think the term 'axe murderer' should attract any comment other than the fact Hirst killed an old lady with an axe. Simple explanation really.

Bob said...

Is there nothing better to do?

dizzy said...

haddock, in fairness he was convicted of manslaughter not murder. Did he "kill"? Yes. Did he "murder"? Not in the eyes of a jury and law he didn't. Any discussion on that thus comes down to a moral question which is based on personal conviction surely?

Anonymous said...

You have shown Tim Ireland up to be the obsessive nutter we all knew he was - well done.

Anonymous said...

Bearing in mind your own history of lies, deceit & generally acting as Iain Dale's stooge, who also uses the methods you do, I can only say that frankly anyone looking in at this from outside of the metropolitan political bloggers would have tracked this back to you.

Dorries is frankly a discredited figure anyway, especially after her recent "performance" in parliament.

TI has admitted he was wrong, but I do agree with him that even if your fingerprints weren't on Ironed Sardine then frankly your style was.

And before YOU start seeing conspiracy theories ,not I'm not Tim Ireland, just someone who finds your sanctimonious post sickening.

dizzy said...

If you find them sickening then don't fucking read them.

Anonymous said...

"I do agree with him that even if your fingerprints weren't on Ironed Sardine then frankly your style was."

This is the kind of 'reasoning' you can expect from Ireland's little coterie...?

'Ok, you aren't guilty of this one, but it still looks as if you might be...'

Let's hope 'anon' never serves on a jury.

Ireland is rapidly becoming even more of an internet joke than he was before, which takes some doing.

Anonymous said...

Ironed sardine was a parody of Phil Hendren's style then, which is a parody of Iain Dale.

A parody of a parody which is in itself a travesty!

Anonymous said...

Anon at 0755: frankly, you missed a 'frankly' out the last paragraph, you frankly obnoxious idiot.

haddock said...

Dizzy, I agree about the 'law', for example Peter Hain is absolutely innocent of any wrongdoing at present.
Hirst took the lower rap by claiming to be disturbed, he still is a person who's mind is disturbed. A violent man that shows no remorse for anything he has done. He is a murderer by any reasonable definition of the word.

Anonymous said...

He should feel well at home here then Frank, in the sewers with you

Anonymous said...

John Hirst may say things one disagrees with, but I've always found him honest.

Letters From A Tory said...

Nothing like a good blog war to start my morning.

Anonymous said...

TI as a blogger is very boring and lives only off others' attention. Why don't you, Dale and Guido simply agree amongst yourselves never to respond to anything he says or to otherwise mention him ever again?

Anonymous said...

Hats off to Mr Hurst for clearing things up. TI comes across as a bit, erm, obsessed, to say the least. I agree with Jonny Mac ~ ignore him, and he'll have to go away.

jailhouselawyer said...

Good morning Dizzy

or in the style of Allo Allo, Good moaning Tim Ireland.

Firstly, thanks for changing the link to the second article. They were both writing about the same person but you would not believe it, and I am not schizophrenic.

I am honoured by those who think I wrote in the style of Dizzy Thinks, it's a cackhanded compliment.

Haddock: I suspect Hitler thought he was a reasonable person. The problem with your reasoning is that any reasonable person with all the evidence at their fingertips would conclude that it was indeed manslaughter. You do not have either the legal or moral authority to change the decision of a court of law. Two Court of Appeal decisions state that my conduct displays a strong indication of remorse, are you really suggesting I should ignore these legal judgments and instead accept your uninformed opinion as a better judgement? Of course, you are entitled to your opinion, even if it is wrong.

And this is at the heart of this issue, Tim Ireland formed an opinion and has proved to be wrong.

I had three options; I could have said nothing; informed Tim Ireland that he was barking up the wrong tree; or inform the injured party, Phil Hendren, Dizzy Thinks, the truth about the position. I chose the latter option, on reflection, I think it was the right one. Phil has taken it well, Tim appears to have taken it badly.

For the record, I am a one man band. I agree with the writer who described me as being "fiercely independent". I walk the line, at times it can appear to be a tightrope. Bob Piper and Iain Dale have me down as non-aligned, which I would say is the correct position. Tim Ireland, on the other hand, placed me in the Left camp. I do tend to lean more Left than Right, nevertheless, I feel it is better to ask me what I think rather than assume what I think on particular issues.

It is unfortunate that Tim Ireland has had his nose put out of joint, but I feel it is a self-inflicted injury. Morals are subjective. Tim Ireland I feel doth protesteth too much on a fake moral outrage. I feel I am standing on high moral ground, and his removing his link to my blog has not changed my position one little iota. I have two balls to play with, he can take his home the game goes on.

Finally, I would just like to thank those on the Right who have shown more of an understanding when it comes down to doing the right thing. I appreciate their support.

Anonymous said...

Dorries performance in parliament was outstanding. BBC viewing figures for her speech on BBC parl channel was 1.5mil. Apparently, one of the highest recorded which is why they fronted her on the 10 pm news. She spoke off the cuff, or from the heart with no notes. The Labour woman read an essay.No wonder the left wing bloggers hate her.

Anonymous said...

"..Phil has taken it well, Tim appears to have taken it badly..."


Unknown said...

I wasn't sure who (or what) TI was when I read this post, I had a bit of a dig around, only to discover I used to work with him...

It's refreshing to see that nothing's changed, and that he's still got a very high opinion of himself, but isn't actually very good at delivering anything of value.

Anonymous said...

Just what exactly is sock-puppeting ?
Is it something anyone can get involved in, and is it fun ?

Anonymous said...

So you admit asking around for TI's phone number prior to calling him repeatedly and screaming your primal scream? Good man, I bet you feel better for having that off your chest. It's a pity you can't actually say who the rat was that provided the information - it's not that big an industry and well you know that. Now that I know who you are, who you work for and how you behave, I'll know never to trust you or your associates again. Small industry, don't you know?

Anonymous said...

If you're really bored read Tim Ireland's CV page. What a nutjob. Quotes:

"Tim Ireland is now best described as a marketing consultant (people often use the word 'guru' around him"

"Despite all of this, Tim Ireland has no plans to run for office. He recently came to the conclusion that he could win an election without difficulty, but has neither the desire nor the patience to tackle the role itself."

dizzy said...

I didnt say I asked around for it. I said someone gave it to me. Big difference.

tory boys never grow up said...

So you're a victim of injustice. But you don't seem to be opposed to handing out a little bit of injustice to poor Helen Clark. Just calm down.

Mostly Ordinary said...

'blogwars' remind me of the dance fights out of West Side Story

Lot's of blokes arsing around but not touching anyone :)

Have to say Tim appears to be a wannabe Sherlock Holmes - does he have a pipe and dear stalker?

dizzy said...

Tbngu - I'm not a 'victim of injustice' as far as I'm concerned this is just a flame war. As for poor Helen Clark, it's just a video of a former MP who appears to be as pissed as a fart, that's about it.

Unknown said...

Check out his 'photoshopping' pages, he's clearly someone with far too much time on his hands.

Anonymous said...

Did a google search on Phil Hendren tonight.

Links in almost immediately to comments implying what a juvenile twat he is.

I'll go away Phil, but I'll come back. Just to wind you up & expose what a twat you are.

Does Dizzy think?