The terrorism story that keeps getting bigger


8:53 am - September 26th 2009

by Sunny Hundal    


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Tim Ireland’s take-down of the Sun’s front-page story through lots of investigation and persistence, forcing it to retract and apologise twice was a shining example of how bloggers can also have a big impact. Forget McBride and Draper – this is the real meat. But the saga hasn’t ended yet.

The Guardian’s Hugh Muir wrote yesterday:

…Last week we raised the question of Patrick Mercer, who chairs the parliamentary counterterrorism subcommittee, and had endorsed Jenvey as a man “who needs to be listened to”. The MP strongly condemned Jenvey’s deception, which occurred in January. “My office certainly received information from him but never worked with him,” he said. And that’s fine with us. But not with Mr Ireland’s site, Bloggerheads, for now it publishes an email sent by a Mercer aide to the People newspaper. “I have been in touch with Mr Jenvey about a number of things, but most of all the following, which in my view would combine well to make a very good Sunday story,” it says.

All quite collegiate then, but it comes down to the definition of “working” together, say sources close to the MP. Mercer himself had no further dealings with Jenvey, though his officials occasionally received information from him. Sometimes it checked out. Sometimes not. Two months after doubts were raised about Jenvey’s dodgy activities, the link between the fabricator and Mercer’s aides had yet to be broken. A shadowy world, this counterterrorism.


Remember, Patrick Mercer MP is a senior Tory spokesperson. The question is: was a dodgy counter-terrorism “expert” close to a senior Tory MP just so he could offer them stories, who then gave it official credibility by offering quotes to the press? And if that did happen, how badly did they fall for this ruse? There are a whole bunch of questions that Patrick Mercer MP needs to answer.

What’s also sickening is that in return for exposing all this, Tim Ireland is being stalked and harassed by a shadowy bunch of operators who are publishing his name and home address all over the internet. Earlier they were smearing him as a paedophile while posting messages on blogs telling people he was “obsessive” and “crazy”.

I’m not going to name names here but a number of prominent Tories seem to have gone along with this disgusting ruse (the obsessive theme). If you were being smeared all over the web by some anonymous nutjobs, angry because you were exposing their shadowing schemes, wouldn’t you try to clear your name? So this post is an update on what’s going on and also in solidarity.

More reading
Richard Bartholomew: Harassment against Tim Ireland
Chicken Yoghurt: Tim Ireland: no good deed goes unpunished
Sim-O: Tim Ireland, Patrick Mercer MP and a bloody disgrace
Septicisle: Patrick Mercer has some questions to answer
Bensix: Picking A Knot…

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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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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Conservative Party ,Media ,Terrorism

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Reader comments


‘I’m not going to name names here but a number of prominent Tories seem to have gone along with this disgusting ruse (the obsessive theme).’

In what way have they gone along with it? I admit I know nothing about the whole affair, and so admit to complete ignorance, but that sounds astonishing.

Paedophile is clearly beyond the pale because it suggests criminal activity, but are “obsessive” and “crazy” off limits too? Surely these fall into the category of opinions, and should be protected by anyone who cares about free speech?

@3 eh? Free speech grants [edited] the right to call people crazy obsessives, but it also grants sensible people the right to point out that [edited] is a disgusting, lying scumbag.

Isn’t this Patrick Mercer of “black bastrds” fame?

Free speech grants [edited] the right to call people crazy obsessives, but it also grants sensible people the right to point out that [edited] is a disgusting, lying scumbag.

You just did. And your point is?

Number 3 is Martin Weisner a green party activist and sockpuppeter with an axe to grind against Ireland. Ignore him.

Obsessive could be read as tenacious and crazy means nothing more than creative. Yes I do have a spat with Tim, but here I was criticizing Sunny’s commentary. Are you trying to ignore me, or to ignore the argument I make?

Hey Martin – I see you’re trolling here again. You won’t be posting here again, as I will delete your comments.

In what way have they gone along with it?

Calling him obsessive when all he wanted to do was clear up his name and get them to accept what’s going on.

FFS Martin, in this context ‘obsessive’ and ‘crazy’ are not words of praise. Are they ever?

I’m also taking out the names because I don’t think they’re necessary at this stage. And I don’t want this to get into a slagging match. The point has been made…. now it’s Patrick Mercer who needs to answer questions.

Thank you, Sunny.

(I should point out for the sake of accuracy that Martin Wiesner once worked on a voluntary basis with a local arm of the Greens, but he no longer has any professional association/connection with the Green Party.)

Free speech grants [edited] the right to call people crazy obsessives, but it also grants sensible people the right to point out that [edited] is a disgusting, lying scumbag.

You just did. And your point is?

OK. You did. But then your post was edited.

So did you have a point or not?

Or were you wrong?

Getting very confused but I think you were right about Iain Dale. 🙂

Pagar: “Getting very confused but I think you were right about Iain Dale. :)”

I am surprised to read that Iain Dale is attacking Tim Ireland online…:-)

I’d like to echo the sentiments that the attacks on Tim are utterly unjustified, cowardly and disgraceful, I get very angry thinking about it.

15. The Grim Reaper

Dear oh dear. On the one hand, I hate Tim Ireland with a passion. I think the man pursues the most trivial of things to ridiculous lengths – for example, who gives a shit whether Paul Staines’ middle name is Delaire? He also runs one of the most dull and unreadable blogs on the internet.

But on the other hand, this kind of treatment is completely wrong and shameful. I can’t believe I’m about to write this – but don’t let the bastards grind you down, Tim.

16. Jimmy Sands

I can’t pretend to have followed the ins and outs but I did have a quick look at Wightman’s site. The man is clearly not dealing from a full deck


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
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  7. Tim Ireland

    RT @libcon Article:: The terrorism story that keeps getting bigger http://bit.ly/R3bvk (Thank you, Sunny)

  8. Vanessa Morriss

    RT @bloggerheads: RT @libcon Article:: The terrorism story that keeps getting bigger http://bit.ly/R3bvk (Thank you, Sunny)

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