Andrew Gilligan is becoming a laughing stock

10:08 am - November 22nd 2008

by Sunny Hundal    

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Updated with image
Oh dear oh dear. Not long ago he was the darling of Fleet Street with press plaudits galore. But now the Evening Standard’s Andrew Gilligan is rapidly becoming a laughing stock.

It’s not just the hysteria: using not one but two articles in the paper to launch attacks on Tory Troll (Adam Bienkov), BorisWatch and Dave Hill, while at the same time dismissing them as inconsequential.

It’s not even just the sock-puppeting. Adam pointed out yesterday on his CIF debut:

The practice of leaving favourable comments about oneself in the third person in online forums is a fairly common one, and has led to other journalists and public figures coming a cropper in the past. The story, a summary of which can be read here, quickly spread to Time Out, the Guardian and the Independent on Sunday, and has provoked many giggles among Gilligan’s critics. This is hardly the stuff of scandal, but for a man who was recently crowned Journalist of the Year, it might be embarrassing. Yet, several weeks after the story first broke, Gilligan has still only issued one limited response. Repeated requests for him clearly to confirm or deny engaging in sockpuppetry from myself, other bloggers and journalists have been blankly ignored.

It must be noted, other journalists have also asked similar questions of Gilligan in the past.

Actually, the most amusing implication of all this is that only Gilligan is allowed to criticise his idol Boris Johnson and the rest are whiny Ken losers. It must really really hurt the poor man to see his creation criticised so much day after day. It’s almost like watching that leave Britney alone video, except in print.

As Adam said:

Not wishing to leave it there, he has gone on to accuse those critics of having lifted certain stories from press releases. When these allegations are rebutted, the Standard’s outspoken columnist has gone uncharacteristically quiet.

How his fellow journalists must be regretting giving him that award. Long live the “anti-Boris forces”.

Times are changing eh Gilligan?

Image from Hack’s Cartoon Diary (which is excellent), via Tom Watson MP

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments

1. Not_The_Gilligan_O_Clock_News

Your attacks on Gilligan are totally unfounded! He is an amazing man and the world’s most awesomest writer ever! He writes words as if using a golden pen!

This is clearly a case of everybody is jealous of me…err…him.

Just leave him alone and focus on some proper stories, like I am Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here (which is totally useless this year because Gilligan isn’t in it).

All rise! The Court of Macropus is now in session.

Andrew Paul Gilligan, you are charged with the heinous crimes of veneficium, magicae artes and netromancy.

How do you plead?

I’m Gilligan and so is my wife.

I’m from nerdistan so please forgive the pythons reference.

Times haven’t changed so much. Boris is still getting wedges of ineffective but vitriolic stick from smug middle-class “progressive” types in inner North London via their blogs – same as May, same as before May in fact.

I’m sure that what you meant to say there, Martin/Pogsurf/Dipper/Lobster, was that you’re generally OK with people engaging politically under multiple false identities.

I think after saying that, you planned to stick around and defend that view, yes?

“smug middle-class “progressive” types in inner North London”

Name and shame, please, name and shame. Otherwise we might think you were a troll talking out of your arse.

And check out his wikipedia entry:

There’s something about the consistent style, the insistantly pro-gilligan tone, the detailed rebuttals of his critics attacks which suggests that it’s either the work of the man himself or a deeply obsessive fan.

I couldn’t find anything obvious on there, but the most recent edits add links to his own blog, which is probably rather less interesting than the Book of Kennite we’ve been writing, and were done anonymously by a user on a 3 mobile IP.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some involvement there. Incidentally, he was 40 yesterday, which puts him just above the age where internet etiquette might have expected to form (I’m 34, for comparison, and have been on the net since I was 19). There is a hint of old guard v. Young Turk here.

I wonder what kennite bought him for his birthday?

Meanwhile, back in the real world the economy plummets, those who have not lost their jobs work longer and harder with less and less rights………

But who cares? In the magical land of Blogdon the he-said she-said carousel continues. At least ‘Heat’ magazine has no pretensions to mean anything.

10. Col. Richard Hindrance (Mrs)

Oh come on Tom, surely you know by now that “inner north London” has a population density 10X that of downtown Mumbai, because it is where absolutely EVERY left wing person in the world lives, and they’re all really, really middle class too!


I’ve often wondered: why do right wing trolls hate the middle classes so much? They’re always sneering about them. I’d have thought such behaviour was a bit, you know, Marxist.

How do you apply to contribute to CIF?

I reckon that photo’s been shopped.


Come to think of it, there was an article about bendy buses on this very website a few weeks ago that reminded me a bit of the Gilligan style (“everyone in London hates bendy buses”, “Val Shawcross is an idiot”).

Shitting in your own kitchen, always a fail.

“there was an article about bendy buses on this very website”

Yes, by Mike Killingworth, and I disagreed with it – it seemed based on a flawed understanding of the whole issue. Val Shawcross has either been picking stuff up from Boris Watch or coming to the same conclusions we do around buses, since her questions to the Mayor are pretty much exactly what I’d ask (last week she asked about the non-cyclist-killing nature of bendy buses versus what Boris claimed before the election and got no answer at all from the new more accountable Mayor). She’s certainly not an idiot, and it was a slightly unpleasant smear piece in the Gilligan mould that I didn’t think did a lot for the tone on LC. Still, the comments shot it down nicely I thought, and where would we be without a bit of disagreement from time to time?

However, the most interesting thing about Mike’s piece was a comment from one ‘Andrew Ross’ that appeared on 2nd November that fits the Gilligan/sockpuppet pattern. Interestingly a user called ‘Andrew Ross’ appeared twice on the Standard comments under a TfL-bashing Gilligan article on 8th September while a user called ‘ross281’ appeared on CiF, once, on the 31st October, the day after kennite was outed by Adam Bienkov. All were talking about buses (OK, bus *fares*, in one of the Standard comments) and using standard boilerplate Gilligan/kennite talking points. I’ve not seen them since anywhere.

It wasn’t “a slightly unpleasant smear”, it was an act of bullying by a coward. Killingworth should be ashamed, and so should you for your less than sound judgement.

“it was an act of bullying by a coward”

Just so you can prioritise a response to his ‘outrage’ accordingly; the above comment comes to you from an individual who makes regular anonymous edits to people’s Wikipedia entries.

Now, Martin, are you going to going to articulate and defend your position on people engaging politically under multiple false identities, or are you going to continue with your near-random attacks?

Back in your shell Ireland, you’re the joke now.

Near-random attacks it is, then.

“How his fellow journalists must be regretting giving him that award”

Are they the same people that award blogger of the year (2006)?

Ramsey is a laughing stock. Gilligan is the brother of Michael Filligan, begin again.

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