Dorries Outburst will not Feature in Private Eye

Nadine Dorries MP’s recent claim that she removed her blog as the result of police advice received a passing mention in yesterday’s Independent, although there was nothing about how her explanation also included an outrageous attempt to smear the blogger Tim Ireland. Dorries’ outburst is just the latest attempt by some of Tim’s political opponents to neutralise his criticisms, research, and satire by suggesting that he should be dismissed as mentally unstable, and the fact that a group of cyber-bullies are consequently targeting him for real harassment has not given these opponents reason to pause.

Dorries’ behaviour won’t be appearing in Private Eye, either, as Tim now explains:

I ran into Ian Hislop in Westminster yesterday. He agreed with me about how unacceptable this situation was… right up until the point where I pointed out how his staff were involved and how much good a simple retraction would do. His response; “Conversation over. Not going to happen.”

Ian Hislop also stated quite clearly that he would not be covering any of Nadine Dorries’ extraordinary outbursts in his magazine.

As I’ve blogged previously, in 2009 a man named Glen Jenvey supposedly discovered evidence of a terrorist plot against British Jews, and this formed the basis for a front-page splash for the Sun. However, Tim discovered that the evidence  had been concocted by Jenvey himself, and the fiasco was noted in Private Eye – although Tim’s research was not credited.

The discovery also prompted Jenvey to leave anonymous comments across the internet accusing Tim of being a convicted paedophile. Somewhat alarmed, Tim sought to get in contact with  Patrick Mercer MP, who had previously  publicised some of Jenvey’s supposed discoveries concerning on-line extremism and who might therefore be able to help.

To try to get to Mercer, Tim approached Iain Dale, a well-connected Conservative blogger with whom Tim has had a number of disputes over the years. According to Tim, Dale agreed to contact Mercer on his behalf, but then failed to deliver. Tim also claims Dale misled him in the process. Tim then went to some efforts to get through to Dale how serious the situation was; Dale’s response was to publish a blog entry accusing Tim of being a stalker, which was picked up by various sympathetic blogs. Tim left a response on one, which was followed soon after by a comment from a certain Adam Macqueen addressed to another commentator:

Oh my god! You made eye contact with the nutter on the bus! You should never, ever do this. I found this out the hard way a few months back…

This is actually shockingly shabby, for reasons that Tim went on to note:

In one of those coincidences that continues to make life delightful, Adam MacQueen is the man responsible for Private Eye taking credit for the discovery of the connection between the ‘Richard Tims’ alias and Glen Jenvey [which revealed the concocted evidence].

It was Jenvey who finally lost it and started accusing me of paedophilia… i.e. because I took the risk on the story for which MacQueen took credit.

Tim then sent an email to Macqueen, who responded that he was justified in calling Tim a “nutter”

Because you obsessively trawl the internet responding to every single comment you dislike.

I complained about Private Eye‘s failure to credit Tim for his research at the time; to find that the journalist concerned would further stoop to such conduct was disheartening. PE‘s editor Ian Hislop is a bit snotty about blogs and the internet, but among bloggers there is great respect for the magazine’s ability to spotlight hypocrisy and corruption in an amusing manner, and for its aggressive stand against the absurdities of UK libel law. This, then, was something of a kick in the teeth.

Tim then wrote about this, with the result that Dale waved lawyers at him, complaining of “harrassment” and (inevitably) making a vague accusation of libel. Dale has also told his readers (while attempting to appear non-boastful about it) about a recent Private Eye lunch he attended:

It was good to see Adam Macqueen again. He worked for me briefly (don’t they all?!) at Politico’s many moons ago and is now one of the Eye’s main journalists. He is also writing a history of the magazine to mark its 50th anniversary, and blogs HERE. An all round good guy.

The lads all stick together, eh?

The full account can be read here.

(This blog entry is partially recycled from this one)