Guardian Confirms Investigation Into Complaint About Journalist Randeep Ramesh Who Wrote Wikipedia Story

The Witchfinder has some concerns about ethical journalism.

Before beginning this article, it is necessary to declare my interests. This is already stated elsewhere, however, cards on the table –

  • I am a Conservative blogger (and Party member)
  • I know Grant

Having said that, I have criticised Shapps stridently and impartially where appropriate in the past. and I intend to be impartial here.

The reason for my disclosures is that I have made a complaint about the journalist who wrote the Grant Shapps story, Randeep Ramesh, and the Guardian have now confirmed they are looking into it. This story sets out my reasoning as a follow-up from my earlier story, which has now been picked up by the BBC.

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Explosive! Grant Shapps MP Vindicated by Wikipedia Investigation! Accuser Contact With Guardian “was not appropriate” – Arbcom Voting on Sanctions Now

The Wikipedia Arbitation Committee (ArbCom) is a respected and thoughtful quasi-judicial body that has ultimate oversight of disputes on Wikipedia. It has been so successful as to be cited in academic articles as a model for dispute resolution. An investigation by ArbCom whose proposed findings were released a few hours ago has comprehensively devastated media claims that Grant Shapps MP edited his own or colleagues’ Wikipedia entries. Members of ArbCom have proposed dismissing his accuser and are voting now.

GrantShappsTeam2015

Grant Shapps MP – Innocent Victim of Political Smears

What sort of person has a username of “Chase Me Ladies, I’m the Cavalry“? Aside from the obvious drawback of taking a really long time to type, it has the secondary problems of being prima-facie sexist (as opposed to imaginary SJW sexism) and somewhat creepy.

When people like Anita Sarkeesian or @Eastgate talk about pervasive misogyny or a hostile environment your author often treats them with scepticism but in this case it looks pretty clear cut. Imagine setting that as a username or email address in any other workplace?

The username is that of Richard Symonds, the Wikipedia administrator and Liberal Democrat who accused Grant Shapps, who thinks it amusing. That alone raises questions about his judgement and suitability. The name itself has lent a slightly surreal air to the ArbCom proceedings and seems inconsistent with Liberal Democrat stated policy on equality.

It is frankly bizarre that the left would criticise the entirely reasonable decision of ArbCom over #GamerGate but ignore a person whose username is a hair away from, “Stick to the Kitchen Sink, Girls!”

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Heroes! – Shapps Spectacularly Vindicated by Outright Conservative Victory – Mensch Vindicated Over Vote Tory Not UKIP

GrantShappsTeam2015

Grant Shapps MP Leading a Team of Conservatives to Spectacular Victory

Victory requires no explanation. Defeat allows none. The Witchfinder praises Grant Shapps and Louise Mensch for their work. Now we must reform Parliamentary boundaries without delay to undo the system rigged in Labour’s favour.

If the Conservative Party had lost,  or had a mediocre result, the knives would be out. “Shapps not up to it”, they would say, the rivals, the haters, those with grudges. Instead the Conservative Party had an unlooked for victory.

Fundamentally the Conservative Campaign nationally was a mirror of the local campaigns in Welwyn Hatfield – disciplined, inclusive, organised and effective. For that Shapps should be praised. He has proven an incredibly effective campaign leader.

Of course, the victory would have been a lot less close were it not for the rigged constituency boundaries which currently mean many Labour seats have less voters in them than Conservative ones. The slim Conservative majority must not be wasted – a first goal in the new queen’s speech must be to complete the boundary reform attempted in the last parliament.

Shapps has also shrugged off many trivial attacks such as the allegations he ran a sockpuppet called Contribsx on Wikipedia – his accuser revealed as a Liberal Democrat with no evidence other than ‘behavioural’ aspects of the account.

At the same time Grant has taken the time to help less glamorous but still important campaigns such as the condemnation of Gawker for its recent Nazi stunt by online ethics activism group #GamerGate. Whilst he has not expressed any explicit position on GamerGate, he has made clear that Gawker’s despicable stunt with a Twitter bot programmed to automatically tweet passages from Mein Kampf was indefensible.

This has led to curious fringe benefits for Grant. One might call it Karma. #GamerGate sympathisers have made great strides in removing rule breaking editors from Wikipedia, via disciplinary resolutions passed via its supreme dispute resolution body, ArbCom. Shortly after the wikipedia story broke a formal case was opened against the administrator responsible, Richard Symonds, via ArbCom. Your author imagines there will be many voices sympathetic to Grant on Wikipedia now. Symonds is at great risk of losing his administrator status.

Louise Mensch image

Louise Mensch, Conservative media mastermind

The other hero? Louise Mensch. Your author happens to believe Louise, whose personal following is rapidly approaching a cool 100K, has a massive political influence in the United Kingdom.

However today I am praising her for her focus on winning Conservative votes and her criticisms of George Galloway. The Witchfinder has no doubt that Louise contributed greatly to Galloway’s election defeat.

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Chair of UK Conservative Party Grant Shapps MP on Gawker.com Coca-Cola Robot Stunt – “Nazism and anyone sympathising for it is simply unacceptable”

Grant Shapps MP

Grant Shapps MP

This is going to be an upbeat post. The Witchfinder is pleased to note that people are listening to reasonable persuasion from GamerGate as well as other sensible, moderate voices. The battle against the unhinged, out-of-control left, the so-called ‘Social Justice Warriors’ can be hard. When there are setbacks or things seem to be going badly it is worth reminding ourselves of our successes.

No matter how much the left-wingers who infest the media try to talk it down, from their perspective the truth is grim. Moderate and Conservative voices in the gaming industry and more generally in society outnumber them vastly.

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Mein Kampf is Not a Jokebook – Nick Denton’s Shame #GamerGate #NotYourShield

DentonSwastika

Gawker.com (whose parent company Gawker Media has Nick Denton for a CEO) thought it would be really funny to poison Coca Cola’s #MakeItHappy campaign with text from Mein Kampf. The Witchfinder thinks it would be really funny if no one advertised with Gawker ever again and Mr Denton was socially ostracised. Swastika by Dreamstime, Nick Denton by Dave Winer on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0 License – http://ow.ly/ICKRe

Incredibly conveniently, Gawker decides to demonstrate just who the villains of the #GamerGate saga are by writing software to interfere with Coca Cola’s latest publicity campaign by causing it to spew out Nazi propaganda. The Witchfinder calls for a boycott of any business owned or operated by Gawker Media CEO Nick Denton until Gawker Editor Max Read is fired. Also undesirable is generally objectionable Gawker Writer Sam F Biddle who has recently apologised for joking about bullying.

Ethics in Journalism. A weighty phrase, oft-debated with varying degrees of cynicism. The members of #GamerGate say they back it. Some people think it is ethical to go through a politician’s trash. Some do not. Some people think it is ethical to hack phones. Some do not.

Your Inquisitor is going to go out on a limb and suggest that subverting a campaign by a soft drinks manufacturer to #MakeItHappy by writing a bot to cause it to spew out the text of Adolf Hitler’s infamous book ‘Mein Kampf’ is one of those things where most people ‘do not’. Yes Gawker did that – then they wrote an article about how funny it was.

Gawker.com has a history. For example in 2014 Gawker writer Sam Biddle was shamed for saying “Nerds should be constantly shamed and degraded into submission.” After some advertisers pulled their advertising Biddle apologised for his ‘joke’.

In late 2014 Nick Denton reorganised the company to share managerial responsibility. However his is still ultimately the leadership. Denton sets the tone and the parent company website still lists him as CEO. It is unlikely, given the media coverage, that Denton is unaware of the ‘Mein Kampf’ story but even if he is, as the top man he bears moral responsibility.

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A Figure Labour Does Not Want to Share

A picture of a dark background with the Witchfinder, a snail with a Labour logo and a caption blaming Labour for train lateness at Kings Cross.

Trains late? Blame Labour.

The Witchfinder travels regularly to and from Kings Cross St Pancras rail station. Whilst every major political party bears some share of responsibility for the decline in train performance, government figures show that train performance fell the most sharply under Labour, and have never fully recovered.

Britain invented trains, with the first public locomotive railway opening in 1825. Why can they not run on time? A quick factoid for the Witchfinder’s readers – the government measures train performance as an official national statistic (Public Performance Measure or PPM). The PPM in 1997? 90%. The PPM in 2001 after four years of Labour? 75%. Even today it has never fully recovered. The lesson? Don’t vote Labour.

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Despicable Andrew Burnham MP Must Never Hold Public Office Again

Andy Burnham MP

Andrew Burnham MP must be sacked and disgraced. (Picture via Open Government License 1.0)

The Witchfinder responds to Labour MP Andrew Burnham’s literally unbelievable comments on the Mid-Staffordshire Inquiry, that demonstrate that Labour still does not understand the paramount need for transparency, accountability and whistleblowing in the NHS.

Think back to your schooldays. Imagine your class. Say, what, 30 people? Picture them all dead. Needlessly. Now imagine school assembly. Say, 300 people? Picture them dead. Now twice that. Dead. Double again. Dead. All dead. 1,200 tragic, unnecessary, corpses.

That was the reality of the Mid-Staffordshire Inquiry. Under Labour’s culture of fear and cover-up, ‘trust’ (some might say voter perception) was more important than truth. As many as 1,200 people died needlessly under NHS ‘care’.

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The Twisted Face of Hate Behind Labour’s Mask – #WeBackMyleene

'How to Speak in Public' Cover

‘How to speak in public’, a training manual published by the Labour Party. From the Witchfinder’s collection.

What do former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and successful TV Presenter Myleene Klass have in common? Both are successful, intelligent women of non-Anglo-Saxon heritage who have been the target of racist, sexist and classist hatred by left wingers. The Witchfinder exposes the poisonous, toxic hate that oozes out whenever the skin of the left is scratched.

Look right. The picture is the cover of a book the Witchfinder received early in his training as a Labour Party spin-doctor. It is an official Labour Party training manual on public speaking.

The cover is a revealing portrait of Labour’s self-image. Chosen, designed and approved by Labour staff for Labour members it shows a shrivelled scowling hate-face behind a healthy smiling mask. The book is about how to speak in public and contains various rhetorical tricks for manipulating the public. To a disinterested observer, the picture could be seen to say this – “We are false, we are wrong … and we know it.”

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Disgraced Ex-Labour Councillor Dean Archer in Humiliating Apology to Grant Shapps MP

Grant Shapps MP

Grant Shapps MP

The Witchfinder covers the recent humbling of another accuracy-challenged member of Welwyn Hatfield’s appallingly useless local Labour Party, who has been forced into an apology to his hard-working local MP Grant Shapps. Matthew Hopkins argues that Welwyn Hatfield deserves better than Labour’s Z-list.

iPhones are a glory of the modern age. They allow us to stay online whilst we are on the go – to listen to music, read emails and to work as we sit on the train to work. They also have the inconvenient habit of auto-correcting words in unintended ways, so much so that there are whole websites devoted to the topic. An innocent word like ‘sinus’ for example, might become ‘anus’.

The Witchfinder suspects auto-correct might have been at work in Political Scrapbook’s recent headline – “Grant Shapps threatened constituent [sic][…]” where the letters “onstit” and “e” are clearly superfluous.

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Share The Pledge Card – 1400 Reasons Never to Vote Labour

The Witchfinder relates the tragic events in Rotherham to those ultimately responsible. A Labour council, a Labour police commissioner, Labour Social Workers, a Labour Government and lastly, Labour supporting paedophile rapists.

In 1997, as the ordeal of thousands of innocent young women and girls in Rotherham was just beginning, the Witchfinder was handing out New Labour pledge cards. “Keep this card and see that we keep our promises” said the slogan, on the back of a smiling picture of Tony Blair.

Had the trusting public known then that we know now, Labour canvassers would have been torn apart in the streets. Below, your inquisitor has produced a revised version of that pledge card with five promises that would have actually been true had it been published at the time.

New Labour Pledge

The New Labour pledge card of 1997 re-written to make its promises true.

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