“I’m coming round to your house in the week. Fight or no fight?”
As I blogged a few days ago, a group called “the Cheerleaders” (apparently connected to a music band called “the Fighting Cocks” – see my blog entry here) has been harrassing Tim Ireland by posting his home address in various places on-line, in the specific hope that “everyone [he’s] pissed off” will see it. They have also made threats of violence – which they have later deleted – such as “machete to your throat”. Now Tim reveals that that their leader, who goes by the stage name of “Ludas Matyi”, has sent an email declaring his intention to come around to Tim’s house for a fight:
Fuck it, I’m coming round to your house in the week. Fight or no fight?
Why are they behaving in this way? It seems the “Cheerleaders” see themselves as vigilantes against Islamic extremists, and they began with pranks aimed against the likes of Asghar Bukhari (of whom I am not a fan). However, because Tim uncovered a bogus posting to a Muslim website designed to create an anti-Muslim scare story, and went on to show that Dominic Wightman (a former associate of Patrick Mercer MP) had lied to Tim and me to try and manipulate us into writing about someone against whom he has a grudge, that apparently means that Tim should be targeted by association. Tim now writes:
Today, I am seriously discussing with my wife not the ifs/buts, but the whens/wheres of moving her and the kids to a safe/unknown location.
Judging by their track record and past trolling technique, I have little doubt that this will lead to jeers from the ‘Cheerleaders’, who will then go on to assure one and all that I’m hysterical and they’re harmless, but even if I’m going to take them at their word on that, I also have to take into account:
a) The many people these ‘Cheereladers’ have sent/broadcast my home address to
b) The lies these ‘Cheerleaders’ have been putting about publicly and privately…
c) The 50+ false claims that I am a convicted paedophile that Glen Jenvey (the author) is unable to remove and Google (the host) refuses to delete
We live in a country where paediatricians are the targets of mobs of illiterate tabloid readers, so I don’t think I’m wrong to be this worried…
I know that Tim can be a polarizing figure when it comes to politics, but this is a situation which should concern everyone. If you believe in freedom of speech, this kind of thuggery and harassment must be opposed – whoever is on the receiving end of it.
Meanwhile, I also get a mention on the “Cheerleaders'” Facebook page, where there is a posting which links to a silly attack blog:
mad props to Dominic Wightman the Tory guy just stitched up another blog site :)
The attack blog is harmless enough, and it compares me to Reverend Farthing, the campy vicar from the sitcom Dad’s Army. Says Wightman in an email to me:
Since fools are my theme, let satire be my song. Glad to see you haven’t lost your sense of humour, Reverend. Regards to the shivering verger.
Tim, meanwhile, is mocked at another blog as someone who supposedly wishes to be a Tory. The idea, of course, is that Wightman wants to present our dispute as some kind of trivial spat based on political differences, rather than the more serious matter of lies. Funnily enough, this is the second attack blog set up in my name – a certain James Osposol did one a while back, although Wightman has assured me that it had nothing to do with him.
Wightman continues to insist that he has very little contact with the “Cheerleaders”, although the link to the pseudo-site curiously appeared very quickly after the blog was published. The “Cheerleaders” also posted on-line an attack piece by Wightman against Tim, several hours before it appeared on Wightman’s Westminster Journal website. Perhaps Wightman can explain further?
UPDATE: Dominic Wightman has now published an article on his Westminster Journal website, where he insists he has very little contact with the Cheerleaders and does not approve of the threats being made against Tim, while also suggesting that Tim may be behind them himself, or if not has at least “met his comeuppance”. Inevitably, he also argues that because he’s opposed to Islamic extremists, therefore his critics must be “invertebrate supporters and glorifiers (at least silent appeasers) of 7/7, 911, Bali and Madrid”. As ever, it’s an eloquent yet vacuous and overheated diatribe which can only embarrass further those who vouched for him or who have relied on his research.
His piece also alludes to the Cheerleaders supposedly putting “viruses and worms” onto his computer. This is reference to a series of menacing and insulting questions which Tim received a couple of days before Wightman’s attack piece appeared. However, the questions were obviously based on Wightman’s article. Wightman at first told me that Tim had himself written them, and accused me of knowing this; when I did a blog post that showed that would only be possible if Tim had psychic powers, I then received a message from a Cheerleader telling me that in fact they had hacked into Wightman’s computer and done the questions themselves, for no apparent reason. I reported this to Wightman, offering to make a police statement, but he shrugged it off as unimportant.
Certainly, the Cheerleaders know more about the list of questions than is in the public domain: one detail which Tim did not include when he published the list was that a Costa Rican phone number was appended to them. Wightman’s attack piece was written in the form of an interview in which he supposedly recounted Tim’s failings to a Venezuelan lawyer named Olivia James, and the Cheerleader told me that she had meant to fabricate a Venezuelan phone number, but had made a mistake. However, Wightman has now taken to publishing audios on YouTube, under an account based on the name Olivia James; and, strangely, her location given is Costa Rica. What can it all mean?
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