Tim Ireland’s latest blog entry deals with Patrick Mercer’s contradictory statements concerning whether or not he worked with Glen Jenvey, who has admitted to concocting a bogus Muslim-themed scare story as tabloid fodder. As Hugh Muir noted in yesterday’s Guardian:
…Last week we raised the question of Patrick Mercer, who chairs the parliamentary counterterrorism subcommittee, and had endorsed Jenvey as a man “who needs to be listened to”. The MP strongly condemned Jenvey’s deception, which occurred in January. “My office certainly received information from him but never worked with him,” he said. And that’s fine with us. But not with Mr Ireland’s site, Bloggerheads, for now it publishes an email sent by a Mercer aide to the People newspaper. “I have been in touch with Mr Jenvey about a number of things, but most of all the following, which in my view would combine well to make a very good Sunday story,” it says. All quite collegiate then, but it comes down to the definition of “working” together, say sources close to the MP. Mercer himself had no further dealings with Jenvey, though his officials occasionally received information from him. Sometimes it checked out. Sometimes not. Two months after doubts were raised about Jenvey’s dodgy activities, the link between the fabricator and Mercer’s aides had yet to be broken. A shadowy world, this counterterrorism.
Tim uncovered the Jenvey’s fabrication back in January, and I’ve been helping with some follow-up and background work (which is why I get a mention in Muir’s article, too). However, while our efforts have been vindicated, Tim has also had to endure a great deal of hassle as a result, which is still ongoing. Jenvey’s original reaction was to plant bogus postings on websites about Thailand accusing Tim of being a paedophile; he has since apologised for this as part of his confession. More recently, Tim was the subject of an attack piece by an former associate of Jenvey named Dominic Wightman (also known as “Dominic Whiteman”; photographed posing with Mercer outside New Scotland Yard here), who had tried to manipulate Tim and me into writing about another person, against whom he has a grudge (I’ve blogged this previously).
But there’s worse; Tim now tells us that
…the attacks have now escalated to a stage where (oh, you’ll love this) my home address has been repeatedly published online by an unknown number of anonymous attackers, and deliberately broadcast to supporters of Alisher Usmanov, Paul Staines, Iain Dale and now Nadine Dorries.
These are all public figures with whom Tim has had well-known disputes. However, it should be noted that Tim is careful and responsible with personal information about other people; and that his enemies also include other characters who might be capable of actual harm. The attackers are too cowardly to put their own real names next to their postings of Tim’s address; it seems, however, they have read Wightman’s claim that Tim is in league with Islamic extremists (Wightman’s rationale for lying to us) and they figure that this provides a justification for the cheap thrills and pathetic sense of empowerment that their harrassment doubtless gives them. They are also using the claim that Tim is an “electronic stalker”; Tim is tenacious and thorough in tracking down examples of on-line deception and dodgy practices, and he is persistent in asking reasonable questions of those who owe him – or the public – answers, and his opponents have spun this into a “stalker” label. Indeed, Mercer has apparently seized on this to deflect criticism, and Tim complains, justifiably, that
So they’re telling their supporters/readers that I’m some mad stalker while knowing that some real bastards using genuine forms of harassment are on my case.
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