Blogger Smeared After Complaining about Distortions Used to Fuel Death-Threat Fantasies

On-line thug Charlie Flowers fantasises about Tim Ireland being shot in the head:

‘Ermmmmm… ah. That’s Tom Wales, the guy that used to stalk women MPs. Someone kill him please.’
Duckie walked forward. Tom Wales had reached the window and was trying to lever himself out over the ledge. She pulled a pistol from her waistband and tapped him on the back.
‘Oi. You. You sappy little mug.’
He rolled onto his back and started to beg. She shot him in the right eye.

The above formed part of a gun massacre fantasy recently posted to Facebook, which I discussed here; it was just the latest outburst in a long campaign of attempted intimidation which has followed from Tim’s discovery that individuals involved with a now-defunct self-styled “on-line terror tracker” outfit called the VIGIL Network were dishonest (full story here; I’ve also been targeted).

The claim that Tim “used to stalk women MPs” is of course a libel, derived from Nadine Dorries; Dorries frequently cries “stalker” when her performance as an MP is subjected to critical scrutiny, and the list of those she has reported to the police includes her Liberal Democrat rival at the last election.

In 2010, Dorries complained to police about Tim’s non-disruptive presence at an election hustings at Flitwick, to which he had been invited by constituents, and with consent of the organisers, to film the event. Tim subsequently spoke with police voluntarily; they confirmed that he had done nothing wrong, but warned him that Dorries’ (supposed) perception of his presence in Flitwick meant that “others could construe this type of behaviour as harassment or stalking”.

Dorries deliberately misrepresented this to suggest that police regarded Tim as someone who had broken the law. Dorries’ interpretation was then promoted by the Conservative blogger Iain Dale; one would have thought that any half-decent blogger/journalist would be alarmed and sceptical at an MP using the police in this way, but Dale also hates Tim and has previously deployed the “stalker” smear himself. Flowers has explicitly referenced Dale, while Dorries has made public and private use of a smear site created by VIGIL’s former director. This site has posted private information about where Tim lives, and its owner subsequently posted a fantasy in which Tim and I are run over by a car.

Tim reminded Dale of all this yesterday, on Twitter:

Asked @IainDale to retract false claims he published that have been used to legitimise ‘joking’ death threats against me. So far: nothing (1)

Followed by:

Try to imagine how that liar/hypocrite @IainDale would react if I published a story about my shooting @NadineDorriesMP trhough the brain. (2)

This second tweet was then picked up on by the conservative activist Harry Cole, who used it out of context to allege that Tim was making a threat against Dorries:

The much loved Bloggerheads ladies and gentleman. Tweeting about shooting Dorries in the head (3)

This was then RT-ed by Dorries herself. It should be remembered that although Dorries is an ordinary backbencher who has achieved nothing special as a public servant, she has managed to carve out an exceptionally high and self-perpetuating media profile as a “rent-a-quote” MP; a recent Tweet in which she expressed her view that William Hague ought to replace George Osborne as Chancellor of the Exchequer unaccountably even made it onto the BBC News channel’s “Breaking News” ribbon.

Cole, it should be recalled, has a history of unpleasant on-line behaviour: when one of Tim’s stalkers contacted him with bogus information, Cole had the good sense to realise it was nonsense but went on to make use of it anyway, by claiming that it must have been sent by Tim as a “sting”. When the true situation was explained to him, he refused to share metadata that might have been of use to police, and then obtusely claimed that he was himself now being unfairly accused of making a threat. Prior to that incident, he was probably the channel through which a smear directed against disabled woman who had criticised Dorries appeared on Paul Staines’ blog.