Anonymous Smear Attack on Tim Ireland’s Children

Tim Ireland has an update on the on-going campaign of semi-anonymous harassment which has been going on for a year or so now:

…Recently, someone involved in this ongoing campaign of harassment began publishing material targeting my wife, my children, and other members of my extended family.

This has included false accusations aimed at my kids, making specific allegations of criminal behaviour that are not only entirely untrue, but extremely damaging (and, it must be said, upsetting).

The accusations were made anonymously on a site which I have seen.

The back-story is somewhat complex, but, as I have blogged previously, the campaign began after Tim exposed the bogus origins of an Islamic terrorist scare story which appeared in the Sun in January last year. The story had been concocted from evidence planted on an Islamic forum by Glen Jenvey, who took revenge for the exposure by making anonymous postings accusing Tim of being a wanted paedophile; whether this was his own idea or was fed to him by someone else remains unclear. Around the same time, sinister “I know where you live” type comments were received from two or more individuals hiding behind fake names but associated with a musician named Charlie Flowers (in particular, Flowers’ associates are a man named Matthew Edwards and an as yet unidentified woman). After a few months, Jenvey – who has mental health problems – apologised and went off-line.

While all this was going on, Tim and I were contacted by Dominic Wightman, who knew both Flowers and Jenvey in association with his now-defunct VIGIL Network. Wightman tried to manipulate us into writing about another man, against whom it transpired Wightman has a grudge, and after Tim and I both wrote about this experience, Tim was then targeted for direct harassment once again. Twitter and other sites were used to publicise his home address, along with threats of violence and the promise that he would be forced to “go back to Australia”. Flowers has claimed that he was involved in this not because of Tim’s writings about Wightman, but because he was offended by Tim’s public controversies with an MP named Nadine Dorries (Wightman also denies any link). A few anonymous attacks were also made in my direction – indeed, just a few days ago I received a comment from someone calling themselves Cam Woodhead, making a crude sexual comment in relation to my posts on the subject.

The focus of Tim’s current post on the subject is the way in which some of his political opponents have helped to foster this situation. Tim presses his point quite aggressively in political debate, and one strategy to deflect his forensic deconstructions is to suggest that attention to detail is evidence of an obsessive nature. Pressing the point further can then be dismissed as “stalking”. It appears that Jenvey self-justified his anonymous attacks with reference to comments about Tim which had appeared on Iain Dale’s political blog; Dale only quietly removed these comments belatedly, and after accusing Tim of threatening him. Also, Tim had hoped to get the support of Patrick Mercer, an MP who had links with Jenvey and Wightman, and he asked Dale to contact Mercer on his behalf:

Iain Dale was at the time in a unique position to get word directly to Patrick Mercer. He agreed to do this, then did the exact opposite of what was requested, then claimed he had called Mercer… Dale has not gone public with any account that seeks to justify his behaviour in this respect; privately, he shares one of three different excuses…

but while Dale refuses to discuss what he said to Mercer when he eventually did contact him, Mercer obviously became hostile from this point on…

Mercer had relied on Jenvey-sourced material for a number of tabloid soundbites, and it suited him to have Tim regarded as a stalker (Mercer recently repeated the strategy in an accusation against his own ex-mistress).

A damaging role has also been played by Nadine Dorries MP, whom Tim has attacked and satirised on numerous occasions. As as I  blogged in May, Dorries retaliated by seeking  to portray a mocking Tweet as some kind of death threat, and when she later closed down her blog she claimed that she had been advised to do so following the stabbing of Stephen Tims MP – the implication being that she was in physical fear of Tim. This was despite the fact that she had closed her blog down a week before Tims had been stabbed.

At one point Dorries hinted that she had received information from some of those who were harassing Tim and had passed it on to the police; however, she later clarified that in fact she had made a police complaint about Tim, not on his behalf. This was mysterious, since, as Tim writes:

…police procedure is to interview the accused party/parties before proceeding with the expense of a full-blown investigation. I know this having been a target of harassment myself; I have never been convicted, investigated, cautioned, or even informally chatted to by police about any criminal behaviour…

In other words, it is convenient to make the cry of “stalker”, but none of those who do so are willing to test their allegations by involving either the courts or the police. And meanwhile, it’s open season on Tim – and now on his family.

I know that Tim can be controversial – but he advances his cause through words and deeds that he is willing to put his name to. He d0esn’t hide behind fake names and IDs, and he is responsible and careful with private data. He doesn’t threaten people with violence, and he’s not a party hack. In short, he doesn’t hit below the belt.

I would hope that Dale and Dorries don’t go so far as actually to take pleasure from the difficulties that Tim is facing, although clearly it’s useful for them: it distracts him from other projects, and the complex backstory to the saga means that it can be difficult to grasp an overview of the situation. The more that Tim is forced to explain and complain, the more they point and mock him as an obsessive. Either way, though, they are in a position to be of help, but instead have chosen to twist the knife in. How exactly do they sleep at night?

10 Responses

  1. Absolutely disgraceful. After seeing that Dominic Wightman made allegations on his scummy website against Tim – I would suggest that he is partly guilty in this matter. Not guilty of directly threatening kids, but certainly guilty of creating and escalating a climate wherein such threats get made.

    Wightman is a compulsive liar, and he also tried to get me to write against that individual that you mentioned.

    In my opinion, getting other people to attempt to write hatchet jobs on an innocent man – merely because he had evidence of Wightman’s dishonesty and duplicity – is the lowest form of cyberstalking.

    At least a stalker does his or her own dirty work, and does not manipulate other people to use them as proxies or – in Wightman’s case, engage to his own sock-puppets such as fictitious Venezuelan lawyers.

    Wightman is a either a scheming and highly dishonest individual or a very sick and self-deluded fantasist, as are some of his associates.

    He is convincing in the way that only a self delusional Walter Mitty type could be – he conned me. Only when the truth hit me I woke up with a start. I expect now that I have said this that I shall receive threats – pseudo-legal threats from non-existent people calling themselves Olivia James, or Richard Walker or some other such alias.

    And when that happens – I will go public, and present my information to the police.

    I have never approved of Wightman’s paranoid, disgusting and unsubstantiated vendettas against Tim Ireland, and I never will.

    Shameful too that these Tory party individuals such as failed MP candidate Iain Dale and Nadine Dorries should carry on with the labeling of Tim Ireland, apparently covering up for people connected to – either directly or loosely – their party whose behavior has been disgraceful.

    A simple lesson for life – if you do not like someone, tell that person to his or her face, and walk away. Do not attempt to use others to act as proxies and make them pawns in a vicious and spiteful vendetta – it has no moral justification.

    And when you are exposed, admit it, and try to reform.

    Threats against people’s children are reprehensible.

    Whoever is doing that is a coward of the worst order.

  2. […] The people who can help make this go away know who they are. […]

  3. […] the latest phase of a long running campign to discredit and smear Tim Ireland by various factions, including the Conservative MP Nadine […]

  4. […] smears by an MP helped to create a climate in which lies and threats could be made with impunity. More recently, an anonymous and sinister site was created containing lies about members of Tim’s […]

  5. […] Last year, Flowers didn’t like the fact that Tim Ireland had exposed bogus postings made to a Muslim website; his response was to send Tim “I know where you live” type comments. A few months later, when Tim exposed the lies of Dominic Wightman (with whom Flowers had formerly worked), the “Cheerleaders” published Tim’s home address and boasted it would be sent to everyone he’d “ever pissed off” – that would have included the BNP. Tim’s not the only person he’s done this to; when the author of Kirklees Unity wrote something Flowers didn’t like, his one of his “Cheerleader” accomplices dipped into Redwatch to fish out a home address. However, the campaign against Tim was more sustained, and included threats of violence and a distasteful expression of malice against Tim’s family. The campaign has also recently re-started. […]

  6. […] someone who has seen cyber-bullying and harassment in action, I know that it is a particulary vile activity that needs […]

  7. […] a few months ago involving several bloggers; the discussion was suggested by Phil Hendren after anonymous Tweets started appearing that attacked Tim’s family and which included details about Tim’s […]

  8. […] subjecting him to real harassment: personal details have been posted on-line about his home and smears about his family, there have been threats of violence, and anonymous attack blogs have been set up with slanderous […]

  9. […] harassment and abuse have been ongoing ever since: last summer, an anonymous site was created targeting Tim’s family, and recently around ten anonymous hit-and-run one-post smear blogs were created to abuse me and […]

  10. […] anyone wants to see what on-line harassment really looks like, I outline some genuine examples here, here, and […]

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