Andrew Gilligan’s false allegations


8:36 am - November 25th 2008

by Dave Hill    


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Plenty of people had plenty of fun at the expense of Andrew Gilligan last week. Now the laughter has died down, let’s assess what has been learned.

Looking through the threads of the two Cif articles in question – by Ken Livingstone’s former chief of staff Simon Fletcher and by esteemed fellow Conspirator Adam Bienkov – we see striking examples of Gilligan making false allegations against his critics, being shown to be in the wrong, then failing to admit it or apologise. They don’t inspire much confidence.

1) At 4.50 on Friday afternoon, a commenter called AView posted three times on Adam’s thread in quick succession. Posting at 5.53 Gilligan asserted that AView was a pseudonym of Livingstone’s economics adviser John Ross. An hour later Ross, posting as RMRoss, made an appearance to point out that this was wrong (as did AView in the small hours of the following morning).

2) A more serious example emerged from Gilligan’s exchanges with Ross. In his first post on the thread, Ross revealed that during the election campaign the Evening Standard had apologized for something Gilligan had written about him in a long and tendentious attempted expose of an alleged plot between (as it happens) Simon Fletcher and TfL, to discredit Johnson’s “New Routemaster” policy. I have a copy of the article in question, complete with the offending passage. As a result of Ross’s complaint this was removed from later editions of that day’s paper and does not appear in the online archive version.

Gilligan’s response was to deny that any of this had taken place.

We certainly never apologised over anything I wrote about you or Ken because, despite regularly attacking my reporting, you never actually made any complaint to us.

The following morning Ross posted the text of the email he had been sent by the Standard in response to his complaint. “Please accept my apologies,” it said. Gilligan made no further appearances on Adam’s thread.

3) Gilligan’s first backfiring attack was against me, on Fletcher’s thread. Fletcher wrote that my blog Mayor and More, which I published independently in parallel with my Guardian work during the London mayoral campaign, “probably did more than any other news outlet to develop the story of the spectacular implosion of the finances of Boris Johnson’s ‘new Routemaster’ bus policy over a number of weeks.”

Gilligan’s response:

Don’t be so bashful, Simon: the Dave Hill story about the cost of the Routemaster which you understandably praise actually came from, well, you – two Livingstone campaign press releases on February 29 and March 3. That’s pretty much exactly what I meant when I talked about some City Hall bloggers merely copying other people’s work.

He’s referring to a piece that appeared, not at Mayor and More, but on the Guardian website. His allegation is completely untrue. It is also a smear, maliciously implying that I was a conduit for Livingstone propaganda during the campaign. As I explained on the thread, I obtained estimates about the cost not from Ken Livingstone’s campaign but from Transport for London. I did so because I wanted to test the competing claims the two main candidates were making in press releases and elsewhere.

To cut a long story short, TfL’s figures contradicted both Johnson’s and Livingstone’s on conductors and although they were close to Livingstone’s for the policy as a whole (Johnson had not published a costing of the whole policy at that stage: he later offered a figure that wasn’t far short of Livingstone’s or TfL’s) they were arrived at by different calculations. This didn’t deter Livingstone from claiming that they vindicated him, or Team Boris, anticipating Gilligan, from accusing TfL of generating “Ken-friendly figures.” Both campaigns were therefore guilty of spinning TfL’s figures to suit their own ends, but that is not the issue here.

The issue is that it should have been obvious to Gilligan that my Guardian article was not “from Ken Livingstone press releases.” Why? Perhaps because some of the differences between Livingstone’s figures and TfL’s are set out in that very Guardian article. Perhaps because I critically examined the candidates’ claims here and here and here and elsewhere.

Perhaps because, according to TfL’s press office, it provided Gilligan, at his request, with a copy of the very same “New Routemaster” estimates it had compiled for me. Anyone still not convinced? After I challenged Gilligan he first cited irrelevances in an attempt to prove his point then, ignoring my request that he apologise, tried to change the subject.

What explains Gilligan’s behaviour?
The key point to emerge from the CIF threads episode as a whole is that what remains of the reputation Gilligan gained for fearless, forensic truth-telling when at the BBC is a little further diminished.

We might wonder if even those of his investigations that were valid and important were informed by the same impulse he displays here. We might be tempted to conclude that this is a man whose opinion of himself is so inflated he is unable to acknowledge his own errors even when they are obvious to everybody else.

Add to this his persistent dodging of those pesky questions about sock-puppeting, and you have a flagship journalist of London’s Quality Newspaper whose credibility is unraveling. And he still owes me an apology. Were he to offer one, I would graciously accept. Sadly, I can’t see it happening.

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About the author
Dave Hill is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He is a novelist, blogger, journalist, married resident of Hackney in east London and father of six children. His novels are about family life. Also at: Comment is free.
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Reader comments


I knocked out 2 fake biometric id cards ages ago, so this is all a bit old hat.

Livingstone cheerleader attacks Livingstone enemy.

Next.

cjcjc:

That’s excellent logic. I’m going to apply it across the board – now I can ignore any argument I fancy ignoring based on the identity of the people involved.

Welcome to the world of the ad-hominem, where any inconvenient argument can be passed over.

4. David Boothroyd

I dispute that Andrew Gilligan emerged from the BBC with a reputation for “fearless, forensic truth-telling”. It is disappointing that those opposed to the liberation of Iraq feel obliged to support a story which fits in with their prejudices, when it has been comprehensively discredited:

1) Even if we accept Dr Kelly did give the explanation “Campbell” to Andrew Gilligan, he was never in a position to know what Alastair Campbell was doing. Dr Kelly had no involvement with the process of drafting the dossier other than checking a section on the history for accuracy. He was not on the Joint Intelligence Committee. Gilligan could and should have checked exactly what his source was in a position to know.
2) Gilligan reported that “the government” knew the 45 minute claim was dubious (let us allow him to withdraw the claim that they knew it was wrong, which Gilligan has never defended). However, as was shown conclusively, the only group which had doubts about the 45 minute claim were the group in the Defence Intelligence Staff and they were overruled by the JIC. “The government” means Ministers and political appointments. No Minister nor any special adviser had any knowledge that there were people in the DIS with any doubts about the 45 minute claim. The claim that “the government” had doubts is therefore seriously misleading to the point of being outright false.
3) Even if Dr Kelly had, by some accident, been in a position to know what Alastair Campbell had been doing, he was not an “intelligence source” as Andrew Gilligan wrongly described him. The Defence Intelligence Staff analyses intelligence but is not one of the Intelligence agencies. This also means that according to BBC Producers’ guidelines, the story was inadequately sourced from the start and should never have been broadcast.

Any comment on Gilligan’s dishonesty, cjcjc? If not, kindly leave this to the grown-ups.

Tim Ireland’s started researching the World Of Kennite, by the way.

http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2008/11/but_hes_got_you.asp

What’s incredible is that Gilligan is apparently so keen to be found out and proved dishonest. Credibility Death Wish time.

>>”It is disappointing that those opposed to the liberation of Iraq…”

*Crying with laughter*

cjcjc,

That is so piss-weak, it’s almost an insult to yourself you clicked submit.

D-

See me after class.

There was an interesting profile of him in the Evening Standard before he got a job there. I can’t find it on their website but it’s reproduced here. Sample:

“After reporting for the Cambridge Evening News in 1994 and 1995, he left university without completing his degree when offered a job on the Sunday Telegraph’s foreign desk. There he quickly earned the nickname “Gilligoon” for his awkward if obsessive manner. He gained a reputation for keeping unconventional hours, often going missing for a day or two.

“He was popular if a little nerdy,” said Mark Palmer, the newspaper’s former news editor. Colleagues there cannot recall him mentioning a love life. Some colleagues were concerned about Gilligan’s lack of formal training, but he won respect for bringing in stories that made waves. His persistence, even obstinacy, marked him out. His work attracted complaints from organisations ranging from the General Defence Manufacturers’ Association to the British Beekeepers’ Association.

“You slightly raised your eyebrows at times, wondering if things were really true,” Palmer said. “He liked to sail close to the wind and it didn’t surprise me later that he had ratcheted his dossier story up a bit.”

Aaron, yes, poor, sorry.

What I should have said was…is that it?
Is that all you have on him?

@ DB – it doesn’t matter whether AG did, in fact, do “fearless forensic truth-telling” – the point is that he certainly did have a reputation for it, and that his ridiculous antics over the London Mayoralty are eroding that reputation.

Hello cjcjc. If by “Livingstone cheerleader,” you mean I thought Ken was a better choice for mayor than Boris, you are right. I wrote for Cif to that effect at the end of the campaign. I wrote in the same piece that it had always been unlikely that I’d favour the Tory candidate, but hoped that my coverage of the campaign had been fair to Johnson and represented him and his policies accurately.

I like to think you’d find that Johnson’s campaign team thought I was pretty fair and accurate, despite my being from the left-of-centre Guardian. I also like to think you’d find that most of Johnson’s administration feels the same way about me, despite my small part in the downfall of Ray Lewis. All journalists have all sorts of biases that affect what they write about and how they write about it all the time. That’s humankind for you. The thing is that some of us consider it part of our job to control, correct or balance those biases and some of us really, really don’t…

“There he quickly earned the nickname “Gilligoon” for his awkward if obsessive manner”

Hell, that’s what I called him – derived it from Milligan/Goon show, probably. He probably thinks I followed him from the Sunday Telegraph. I’ll have to think of a new one now – how about ‘Two-Faced Turd From Teddington’? Anyway, what’s wrong with being awkward and obsessive – I can out-nerd Gilligan any day of the week. Anyone for a nerd-off?

“@ DB – it doesn’t matter whether AG did, in fact, do “fearless forensic truth-telling” – the point is that he certainly did have a reputation for it”

Agree with JohnB – if anyone’s reputation suffered over Kelly, it was the BBC, rather than Gilligan, who of course walked into a job with Boris at the Spectator and subsequently onto the front pages of the Standard and thence to the Journalist of the Year award. Not done too badly for himself, has he?

Tom:

“if anyone’s reputation suffered over Kelly, it was the BBC, rather than Gilligan”

I agree. On the obsessive/nerdy front, I suspect projection (hello fellow citizens of Nerdistan) but would discourage anyone from spending too much time on it, as the ‘obsessive’ tag is thrown about all too readily these days.

Martin:

I asked you to clarify what you had said. You chose not to. Wise move, if you’re as homophobic as some of your Wiki edits would suggest.

As for ‘outing’ people, you imply that I’m a coward for not naming you, and accuse Sunny and others of bullying and double standards if they so much as look sideways at the BNP list.

It’s just another troll, and you’re wasting everybody’s time. Again.

If you’re not willing to articulate and defend your position on sock-puppetry, why are you here in a thread on that subject, if it’s not to simply to disrupt the conversation?

[troll]
I didn’t imply you we’re a coward. I stated it as a fact.

[troll]
Take a look in the mirror Tim.

http://images.google.co.uk/images?hl=en&q=julie%20moult&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

LC, please feel free to delete if inappropriate.

16. David Boothroyd

Looks like troll comments are removed or disemvowelled.

17. andrew gilligan

Dave,

A senior Guardian executive once told me you were over-sensitive to criticism. Having read this, the latest of at least five posts about me you’ve made on various blogs in the last few days, I can only agree. I repeat, because you have not answered it, the charge I make: that your blog consists almost entirely of cutting and pasting other people’s work, notably Ken Livingstone press releases, for which you became quite notorious during the campaign, and since. (I am surprised you deny this when the TfL story I describe actually includes a link to the relevant Ken release.) I would disabuse yourself of any notion that you are regarded as fair and impartial. You continue to act as a Ken noticeboard, and I’m frankly puzzled the Guardian allows it.

And everyone else: as I’ve written here before, I invite you to find one example – just one – of anything I wrote about Ken during the election campaign that was untrue. I can understand this site’s evident frustration about me.You blame me for losing your hero the election (not something I’ve ever claimed credit for, mind.) You trawl the web for disobliging comment about me – and there’s plenty of it, because I specialise in taking people on. What you can’t come up with, however, is a credible challenge to the factual accuracy of any of the Lee Jasper stories or any of the other stuff I wrote about Ken in the run-up to the poll.

Andrew

Hey! Since you’re here:

Do you deny leaving comments underneath your own articles and/or articles about you, whilst pretending to be a third person?

Mr Gilligan – that last one was for you. Plus, another question – how do you manage to move goalposts when you’re so damn slippery? Don’t they, like, slide out of your hands?

Here you say:

repeat, because you have not answered it, the charge I make: that your blog consists almost entirely of cutting and pasting other people’s work, notably Ken Livingstone press releases, for which you became quite notorious during the campaign, and since. (I am surprised you deny this when the TfL story I describe actually includes a link to the relevant Ken release.)

This has changed somewhat from your charge over in Simon Fletcher’s piece in the Graun, which was that Dave Hill’s piece on Routemaster costs, ‘came from, well, [Simon Fletcher] – two Livingstone campaign press releases on February 29 and March 3. ‘

It didn’t. It came from TfL figures. But that’s all okay now, because the charge is just that he did a bit of cutting and pasting of some stuff in the same piece. Great that.

I’ll leave the last paragraph to other people, since I don’t actually give much of a stuff about Ken Livingstone either way.

Hello again, Andrew.

Do you deny leaving comments underneath your own articles and/or articles about you, whilst pretending to be a third person?

Do you ever plan to answer the above question? There appears to be a long trail of evidence, and it’s in your wake.

If you’re going to stick with a limited denial relating to comments made using the ‘kennite’ account, can you at least tell us what you mean by ‘partner’ and if you personally have access to the ‘kennite’ account?

When you’re ready. You appear to have other questions to answer at the moment.

Andrew Gilligan says: “I repeat, because you have not answered it, the charge I make..”

How frightfully annoying to have to keep chasing someone to respond to a simple query.

Incidentally, do you deny leaving comments underneath your own articles and/or articles about you, whilst pretending to be a third person?

You continue to act as a Ken noticeboard, and I’m frankly puzzled the Guardian allows it.

And he says that with no sense of irony!

I can’t wait to read your next column railing against these nasty dark “anti-Boris forces” against your precious Boris, Andrew.

Monsieur Gilligan,

1. You originally claimed that Dave’s story “came from” Livingstone’s press releases. In fact, as has been pointed out many times, the article[1] relied upon calculations provided by the TfL. I think he deserves an apology.
2. Andrew Ross did[2], in fact, receive an apology from your paper.
3. Do you deny leaving comments underneath your own articles and articles about you, whilst pretending to be a third person?
4. You still owe Tom an apology for misquoting him in your Standard article of October 27th (though before you think I’m whining away like a typical resident of “Nerdistan”, I’d like to thank you for the site’s mention. An absurdly shrill attack from a mainstream newspaper looks rather nice on my University applications).
5. Ken isn’t my “hero”, nor am I in his “left” (whatever the hell that is). In different times I sniped at him just as dully and dishonestly as you do now, and he only really seems to occupy my thoughts when you drag him up, irrelevantly, in comments such as #17.

Happy birthday for last Saturday,

Ben

1. http://davehill.typepad.com/london3ms/2008/03/bus-wars.html
2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/21/london-boris?commentid=3979c220-452f-48c4-a759-cb3eb2e2e466

And he says that with no sense of irony!

Not so much as hint of shame, either.

*Awaits Andrew’s triumphant return to the comment thread clutching his straw man*

I know there isn’t usually, but is there any chance of you actually responding to the original post this time Andrew. There’s only so many times you can scream ‘KEN LOVER’ or ‘LEE JASPER’ at anyone who dares criticise you.

“You still owe Tom an apology for misquoting him in your Standard article of October 27th”

I’m willing to waive this one in return for a convincing explanation backed with verifiable evidence of all the apparent sockpuppeting. Apart from anything else my Mum’s thrilled that I’m in the paper – she normally only gets occasional letters published in the Independent, so you can see why she’s pleased. Mind you, since one of her best mates is the mother of one of the guys behind Jerry Springer: The Opera you can see that our family’s got some catching up to do when it comes to public shitstorms.

Fair deal, Andy?

I’m somewhat confused. Not an unusual state of mind for me to be in, I grant you.

Is Mr. Gilligan suggesting that posting links to material (something we in academia have come to call: “providing references”) is equivalent to “cutting and pasting other people’s work”. That appears to be the substance of the claim made here.

I haven’t been following what is obviously an ongoing discussion / argument, but if that’s what is being claimed by Mr. Gilligan… well, frankly it beggars belief. And it makes me wonder just how much research he puts into his own work if he finds the concept of linking to (or, if not online, referencing) source material so alien.

Hello Andrew. I’m quite sensitive to people writing things about me that aren’t true. Seems reasonable. So to answer your jolly cross question – your “demand” (ahem) – the answer is, yes of course I deny it and you are missing the point anyway. It would take too long to explain, particularly to a fellow who doesn’t want to hear explanations that don’t fit with his prejudices.

Now, where we were we? Oh yes…

1) Will you withdraw and apologise for your false allegation that a Guardian article I wrote about the cost of Boris’s New Routemaster was “taken from Ken Livingstone press releases”? (Actually, don’t bother – everyone knows you’ve been found out on that one).

2) Do you deny leaving comments underneath your own articles and articles about you, whilst pretending to be a third person?

3) Where’s Kennite these days? Have you split up? Does Veronica know about this mysterious individual yet?

Oh look. This is silly. Just back down quietly and I’ll say no more about it. Can’t speak for anyone else, mind.

By the way, everyone, I’ve just posted an entire Boris Johnson speech on my Guardian blog. Shall I tell you why? Because readers might find it interesting and because they might not be able to read it anywhere else. One of the joys of a blog is that it gives you the luxury of unlimited space for such things. (Some little clues for you there, Andrew).

Andrew

I ask this as someone who probably sat in a seat you graced at Radio 5 Live Report, near to Bill and Lynne, in White City, just around the corner from Noelle… Remember? It was just after you got bumped off the Today programme and were put somewhere for a kind of gardening-not-gardening leave after the Kelly issue.

I also ask this as one of the poor fuckers who lost his much-loved and hard-fought-for job at current affairs when Dyke left, Thomspson arrived and started cutting the living shit out of the Beeb thanks to your appalling inability to learn shorthand and keep proper, clear and concise notes about which prick sexed up the Iraq dossier.

I also ask this as a bone fide, qualified, common-brand regional reporter, not a blogger with a particular axe, scythe, sword or butter knife to grind.

Please, for the sake of the children – answer the bleeding question about the sock puppertry, eh?

There you go, there’s your question.

Please, just piss away all the anit-Ken, anit-Boris “I’ve never written something that isn’t true about X, Y and Z” shite and just bleeding answer it love. I’m sure that’s not beneath you, even if you are at the Standard.

How’s that, clear enough? To the point? Concise? I don’t even want a press release, just an answer will be nice, ta.

If needs be, knowing your skills for a bit of digging, you could even dig out my work email and send me your answer… I’ll forward it on if you’re too shy yourself.

Cheers

30. andrew gilligan

Carl,

Are you sure you didn’t lose your job for your inability to stop swearing? Yes, I deny it, as I’ve done any number of times before.

Since I sense that even some of you are getting weary of this topic, let me ask you all a more interesting question before we finish: why are you so het up? What does it say about you that you’ve spent literally weeks, and filed dozens of posts, in one or two bloggers’ cases almost their entire output in that time, on something which, even if it were true, is of so little importance? How come almost everyone attacking me for allegedly writing under an alias themselves writes under an alias? What would an ordinary member of the public (you know, the kind whose votes you lost in droves last May) think of how you folks choose to spend your lives?

You may prefer the safety of Dave Hill-style press-release journalism, and dislike the kind of journalism I do. Lots of people dislike it, particularly those on the receiving end. (That, Carl, accounts for more of what happened to Greg Dyke than any failings of mine, as Greg would happily tell you if you asked him.) But my kind of reporting does at least try to address, and I would argue has successfully illuminated, important subjects – the truth of the case for war on Iraq, the probity of the former Mayor’s administration – involving hundreds of thousands of lives and millions of pounds of public money. It has had some real effect on the politics of London and the country, as your anathaemas, a kind of tribute, implicitly recognise; it has also been recognised by the profession as a whole.

The saga of the alleged sockpuppeting, by contrast, successfully illuminates nothing more than a small minority of bloggers’ claustrophobic self-obsession and lack of proportion.

[troll]
Hear, Hear.

What a sad collection LC is turning out to be. Why do the majority of commenters on LC believe that attacking the reputation of one man serves any useful purpose? Why do you seek to hide the comments of those who laugh at your nonsense?

Liberal: sometimes. Conspiracy: definitely.

Andrew:

It’s not your style of journalism that people here find objectionable, it’s your refusal to respond to the substantive points of Dave’s rebuttal of your allegations with anything other than an increasingly tiresome repetition of same allegations, for which your have yet to provide any supporting evidence.

Putting the sock-puppeting thing to one side for the time being, please consider this to be an invitation to you to either put up, and provide the evidence which supports your allegations regarding Dave’s articles, or shut up.

That’s really all that needs to be said here.

Andrew, why are we het up, you ask?

Because – and I hope you’ll forgive me as an ordinary member of the public for having the temerity to enter into discussion with an “award-winning journalist” – there are old-fashioned concepts of honesty and transparency that still matter to some. You describe yourself – I paraphrase, I hope not too unfairly – as a fearless seeker after truth. Can you not see just the tiniest hint of a possibility of a suggestion of inconsistency in the fact that you have to ask why sock-puppeting is a big deal?

We need sunlight shining in; we need a variety of avenues to expose the corruption and lies that seem rooted in our political and business practices, and these might be blogs or they might be traditional journalists. I know there is tension between the two camps, but they are not inevitably opposed. I realise you probably don’t have much time, literal or metaphorical, for blogs, but that hasn’t stopped many media companies imitating the format.

There was a time when bloggers understood that assertions must be well-founded, mistakes acknowledged and corrected transparently, and disagreement between bloggers conducted civilly. Motes and beams, and all that. I assume there was once a time when journalists understood that also, but I have to say the fact you have to ask your question makes me wonder. What were you thinking about as you waited to discover if you’d got a Paul Foot award?

*Sigh*

“Since I sense that even some of you are getting weary of this topic, let me ask you all a more interesting question before we finish: why are you so het up?”

Don’t come over all amateur psychologist, Andrew, it’s dreadfully boring.

Tthe whole sockpuppet saga (sockpuppeting is different from using a pseudonym as it’s using a pseudonym deceitfully) would have been little more than a blip on the blogipeligo* had you given a straight answer at the time. As it is, you merrily smeared our website (thanks again), Dave Hill and Andrew Ross before finally setting out your position. Presumably you enjoyed the attention.

And, no, we’re not trying to discredit you or your work. I don’t know much about the David Kelly affair, but admire your bravery in taking on Blair, Campbell and other putrid specimens (and very much hope that the public awareness it stoked will lead, sometime, to an inquiry). Similarly, I don’t know a lot about the Livingstone administration, but then he’s not my “hero”, I’m not on his “left” and I couldn’t have voted for him if I’d wanted to.

So, my interest in this affair has precisely nothing to do with your character or previous work, it comes from a) your preference for blowing raspberries at Ken, and us, rather than, y’know, doing your job and scrutinising the Mayor and b) your unwillingness to answer simple questions. Those two minor curiosities aside you may disappointed to know just how little you intrude upon my thoughts.

But, thanks for finally giving an answer (yes, that’s the first one you’ve given), and I for one shall take it in good faith and assume that you have a great deal in common with your “partner”, plagiarise from blog comments and have rather devoted fans – from the Associated Press, natch – that track mentions of you on technorati.

Regards n’ all,

Ben

* Or Nerdistan, whichever.

“How come almost everyone attacking me for allegedly writing under an alias themselves writes under an alias?”

Bait and switch – we’re not attacking your for writing under an alias, we’re asking you to explain your sockpuppeting antics. Sockpuppeting is *not* ‘writing under an alias’ but the deliberate attempt to skew debate by pretending there’s support for your position that isn’t actually there outside your own head, either using anonymity or undeclared aliases.

Of course, the only one of us whose name is not in the public domain is 5cc; Dave, Tim, Justin, Adam, Sunny, BenSix and myself are all well known under our real names and any other names we use are easily connected – try clicking on Input or Bloggerheads on CiF. Dave, Sunny, Adam and Justin have all written for CiF under their real names. Clue time : using your real name or *an alias everyone knows or can work out easily* is *not* sockpuppeting, otherwise ‘Mayor BoJo’ is a sockpuppet (real name : ‘Alexander Johnson’), so, it occurs to me, is the Queen and so are ‘Tom’ and ‘Andy’, since our real names are Thomas and Andrew. Got that?

On the other hand, ‘kennite’, your partner, is an undeclared alias – ‘his’ profile does *not* contain his real name, neither can we work it out easily. ‘kennite’, I remember, attacked me on a couple of occasions (such as when I suggested that Peter Hendy was worth his salary, something that Boris Johnson apparently agrees with me on). I’m sorry to say this puts ‘kennite’ in the same category of nasty alias-using attackers that you seem to disapprove of, quite apart from all the plagiarism flying about – you nicked some of his stuff for your column, remember? The ‘certain mad nobility’ gag?

However, we can put this right – can you, following in the spirit of openness as I’ve demonstrated above, get ‘kennite’ to put his real name on his profile? Otherwise it does look rather hypocritical, don’t you think, if your ‘partner’, to whom you’re evidently very close, goes around failing to live up to your own high standards? Of course, It would also answer all those tiresome questions about sockpuppeting, which I’m afraid aren’t going to go away otherwise.

While we’re at it on standards, can you apologise to Alex Harrowell for falsely attributing an observation of his to myself in your hilariously misquoted Standard piece? He was quite a fan of yours back in the Iraq days, but now? Not so much. This is a common pattern I’m seeing.

[As for what ordinary members of the public think, ‘knobhead’ was one opinion expressed by people I’ve shown these threads to, and they weren’t talking about Dave Hill. Another reaction read : ‘The question I often ask myself is how did the Today Programme ever end up thinking Gilligan was a good enough journalist?’. My Mum criticised your English, but then again she actually finished her Cambridge degree.]

In the interest of full disclosure, I did use other netnames prior to finding blogging, but they never – how to put it without just sounding weird – connected, and I don’t use them anymore. It’s not being pseudonymous that’s the problem, it’s using multiple identities simultaneously and for deceitful purposes. It’s not just dishonest, it’s bleedin’ confusing.

Ben

Yes, I deny it, as I’ve done any number of times before.

No, you haven’t. And this latest ‘denial’ of your collapses under the weight of the following:

How come almost everyone attacking me for allegedly writing under an alias themselves writes under an alias?

Perhaps Mr Gilligan would also care to deny accusations of kidnapping on the basis that people pick their children up from school every day.

(Perhaps Mr Gilligan would also care to fly off the handle and suggest that I’m accusing him of kidnapping now.)

I’ll have more on Gilligan soon, BTW. I’ve been a busy boy this morning…

“What does it say about you that you’ve spent literally weeks, and filed dozens of posts, in one or two bloggers’ cases almost their entire output in that time, on something which, even if it were true, is of so little importance?”

Well, it says that we wanted the answer to a question. You have now finally (I think) answered it. It is for others to look at the evidence and to judge whether you are being honest. Honesty, I hope you will agree, is important for a journalist, especially one whose honesty has been so publicly tested in the past.

You have now denied leaving comments about yourself in the third person. From the evidence I have compiled, I believe that to be dishonest, but for whatever reason you’re sticking to it. Whether or not you are dishonest may be of little importance to you, but it does make it much less likely that I will believe anything you write in the future, especially when it comes from unnamed persons and from unlinked sources.

“What would an ordinary member of the public (you know, the kind whose votes you lost in droves last May) think of how you folks choose to spend your lives?”

Not being either a politician or a member of a political party, I won’t lose too much sleep over it. I will however, look back fondly at a time when one of Britain’s most revered and reviled public figures spent two weeks flailing about, making himself look a complete and utter twerp. Thanks for that Andy.

Hi Andrew,

As a fellow journalist, albeit of a much more lowly variety, I must admit I’m intrigued about your writing methods.

Please explain: do you write a column and then leave it lying around before publication so that your partner, Kennite, can integrate key parts of it into random blogs?

Or do you so admire Kennite’s blog comments that you then cut and paste them into your own Evening Standard columns? (Clipboard journalism, you could call it!)

Does Kennite contribute a lot to your articles? You certainly appear to share a distinctive style judging by your published work. In the absence of any shared byline, does Kennite at least get paid for their contributions?

One suggestion: perhaps Kennite could learn shorthand? It might save you both further embarrassment next time you interview a key source.

I would have it known for the record that I warned Andrew Gilligan many times that I might eventually be forced to hit him with a stick:
http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2008/11/andrew_gilligan_2.asp

Now that hundreds of Andrew’s colleagues know about this, perhaps he might finally take the matter seriously.

If not… well, let’s see.

Over to you, Andrew.

At first, I thought Tim had gone too far then since Andrew appears to have denied the charges of sockpuppetry above in comment 30.

Then I re-read the denial and so, for the benefit of those who were taken in by the it like I was, here’s what’s wrong with it.

1. It’s specifically in response to the question asked by Carl Eve in comment 29. Carl’s comment is probably the only one here that asks about sockpuppetry without using the specific wording about leaving comments while pretending to be a third person. Isn’t it odd that out of all the times the question has been asked in this thread, Gilligan only chooses to answer the one that doesn’t specifically mention pretendiing to be a third person in a discussion?

2. The denial includes the words “as I’ve done any number of times before”. Of course, Andrew Gilligan has never denied posting comments while pretending to be a third person before. He’s only denied being ‘Kennite’ – not leaving comments under Kennite’s name, or any other name.

I was going to reword the question – you know, the one about pretending to be a third person – as a denial for Gilligan to save time by cutting and pasting so we can all just stop, but sod it.

At first, I thought Tim had gone too far then since Andrew appears to have denied the charges of sockpuppetry above in comment 30. Then I re-read the denial…

^^^ This. ^^^

I went to bed early last night, woke up, saw this and immediately thought that I’d wasted 200 sheets of A4… until I actually read the ‘denial’.

Gilligan still has a case to answer, and this latest ‘denial’ only puts him deeper in a hole of his own creation.

s h gng t hll Tm, lk Knnt?

Andrew

Having worked for John Sweeney for several months, I can’t imagine my swearing topped his… Although saying that, I know half the floor of Current Affairs dept didn’t like my oikey Essex accent sullying their Oxbridge hollerings.

As for the small number of bloggers being the only people concerned?

Er, no. I’m concerned. I’m not a blogger. I’m not from London. If I post on a blogsite – which I do – I like to think I have the bottle and brass to put my own full name. Maybe it’s just something I was taught by my old-style news editor who would batter me senseless with tirades about ethics and honesty and the like.

It doesn’t take a rocket-scientist to have concerns about a journo who is able to take apart someone like Ken and his administration so effectively, but then – it would appear – is caught in bed with the person who replaced them. Admittedly, the Standard will shy away from ever criticising Boris, but – one the grounds you’re the kind of reporter who likes to illuminate important issues – shouldn’t you treat BoJo the same as any other politico? Or are you just another Finegold and “only doing my job”? *click heels and salutes*

Additionally by constantly sniping at any of Bojo’s critics (but not using your birthname to do it) and then switching to using it, with dubious excuses for the person who did use your words but not your name – well. It doesn’t look good, does it? It looks tawdry, cheap and rather seedy. Soho on a bad day, in fact.

My concern is, simply, that you’re not being honest with us.

So, tell me about Kennite.

Sorry. Forgot myself there Andrew.

Oi, Cunt, tell me about Kennite.

There. That’s better, yes?

Hello, gang.

I just dropped by this thread to say ‘hi’ and make a note that I’ve just now finished the task of grabbing 350+ screen captures, each of which will form part of a special 14-second sequence in a new animation that will be with you shortly.

All major threads external to Bloggerheads involving the recent Gilligan sock-puppetry saga to date have been preserved in this way (mostly conversations/reports where he turns up under his own name, plus two crucial threads from 2007). No matter what happens to these websites in the future, the relevant bloggage will be locked up inside the upcoming animation like a little time capsule.

This comment will appear as the final comment in that series of frames.

[Hello, future freeze-framers! ]

Pretty neat, huh?

:o)

Pretty sad

Bless you, cjcjc, you little ray of sunshine. I saved your worthy contribution, too.

Congratulations… you’re finally a star.


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