Tim Ireland’s Endless Quest to Get a Straight Answer to a Simple Question

Tim Ireland has written a couple of new blog posts, outlining his dealings with a certain Jon Chappell (“Jonny Yeah”), who is an associate of members of a music band called The Fighting Cocks. Members of this band have formed a separate grouping called “The Cheerleaders“, and under a variety of pseudonyms they have been conducting a campaign of harassment and threats against Tim for some months. This has included posting his home address on-line widely in the expressed hope that he would be forced to leave the country, sending him the warning “machete to your throat”, and a threat from Charlie Flowers, lead singer of the Fighting Cocks, to come around to his house for a fight. They have declined to explain exactly why they decided to act in this way; however, Flowers has claimed to have been involved with the “VIGIL Network”, a now-defunct organisation which supposedly monitored Islamic extremism and which featured on Newsnight in 2006. A year ago Tim discovered that one former VIGIL associate, a man named Glen Jenvey, had been concocting evidence of extremism; and in September we discovered that Dominic Wightman, who had created VIGIL and ran up substantial debts before declaring bankruptcy, had lied to us to try to make us write about another man, against whom he has a grudge. Tim wrote about this, and the campaign began then – although Wightman claims this had nothing to do with him.

The Fighting Cocks (formerly known as Széki Kurva) belong to a wider scene of music bands, DJs, and clubs in the London area, and the “Cheerleaders” Facebook page and Twitter feed have links to many of their friends and acquaintances. The “Cheerleaders” ostensibly exist to annoy Islamic extremists, and the casual visitor to their site might easily miss their wider bullying activities. However, some from this wider pool of hanger-ons ought to know what’s going on; as Tim explains, one email in which Flowers responds to a request for information with a challenge to a fight had been cc-ed to a number of these associates – including “Jonny Yeah” and Gina Khan. Tim posted these email addresses on-line, and he asked their owners if they approved of this kind of thing. None chose to reply at first, but it seems that the “Cheerleaders” realised they had caused their friends some embarrassment. However, as ever, they had only one strategy to get Tim to take the list down: more threats, followed by an attempt to swamp Tim’s email with Nigerian spam by faking his identity. Neither of these worked.

Tim adds:

This suggested to me that someone on that list didn’t want to be visibly associated with what the ‘Cheerleaders’ had been up to, so I contacted everyone on that list, and offered them the chance to disassociate themselves from the online attacks and threats of violence. If they wanted to be removed from this post, all they had to do was account for their conduct to date (i.e. why not object before now?), and distance themselves from this ongoing campaign of harassment.

Only ‘Jonny Yeah’ took me up on the offer and asked for his name/address to be removed. Initially, he pretended not to know anything about the campaign of harassment. When this pretence was fatally undermined by the evidence, ‘Jonny’ suddenly lost interest in the attempt to have his name/address removed.

…At no stage did he express any interest in or disapproval of the repeated use of my personal data to intimidate me… most recently, on his behalf.

“Jonny Yeah” is Jon Chappell of Kooba Radio, an obscure internet radio station. Chappell then spamblocked Tim, so Tim contacted Redwire Design, a company which handles Kooba Radio’s website and where a project manager is Alex Malloy, who is also Chappell’s partner at Kooba . Tim spoke to Malloy by phone at work; Malloy’s alleged response, as a spokesperson for Redwire, was reportedly to advise Tim to “take the hint and fuck off”. The “Cheerleaders”, as ever, made more threats against Tim on their Twitter feed, using foul language, although they have since thought better of it and deleted the tweets.

Chappell’s conduct is strange (as is Gina Khan’s silence on the subject). If a friend of mine cc-ed me into a threatening email against someone I would be very annoyed and somewhat alarmed. If the person who had been threatened emailed me to ask my opinion, I would disassociate myself from the threat most vigorously, and remonstrate with my friend to cease such conduct and to make amends. Not to avoid the hassle, but because it would be the right thing to do. Does that sound so weird in this day?

Perhaps, behind the scenes, some of the Fighting Cocks’ friends are annoyed that they have been put in this position, even if they won’t say so to Tim. Perhaps this is why the “Cheerleaders” are so keen to have the email addresses taken off Tim’s website. And perhaps these friends ought to wonder why the “Cheerleaders” hide behind fake IDs like “Princess Calamity” and “Amarah Hadchiti” while involving the email addresses of real people in their antics.


…Meanwhile the ‘Cheerleaders’ are hopping about angrily playing the side of law enforcement all of a sudden, outraged that I’d dare to ask anyone about their real names (when they claim it is not an issue); the abiding theme is that if I dare to object to being attacked, then they will continue to attack me… but it has already been established that they plan to continue to attack me anyway…

So, we can add whining hypocrisy to the rest of their vices: we can threaten you and harass and you and try to interfere with your personal life, but if you dare to ask our friends who we are – friends whose email addresses we gave to you by cc-ing them in to a threat – then we will complain to the powers that be.

Actually, I’d look forward to seeing Flowers give evidence in a court case of any kind. Of course, as Flowers and his friends well know, their embarrassment can be eased very easily: all they have to is to explain in full – providing emails and other evidence – why they  decided to attack Tim so viciously and without regard to either the law or simple decency, and what their relationship with those associated with the former “VIGIL Network” might be.