Monday, April 13, 2009

The Red Rags of Cardiff & Edinburgh

Readers in Scotland and Wales may be having a wry smile at the fact that the grubby Red Flag blog didn't quite make it to the internet in time. For in those two countries, Labour has indeed started up versions of the Red Rag. In Wales we have the Aneurin Glyndwr blog (started in March 2009) and in Scotland A Leaky Chanter (started in December 2008). They are not as salacious as the Red Rag was intended to be, but they clearly exist as attack blogs, purely designed to attack the motives of the other parties, although the concentrate primarily on the nationalist parties.

Anuerin Glyndwr is an official Labour blog, created and operated by David Taylor, a researcher for Leighton Andrews AM. I don't know the provenance of A Leaky Chanter. Perhaps one of my Scottish readers could help out.

UPDATE: A reader, Pavlov, has left this comment on another thread.

We in Wales also had a Labour smear blog, called Natwatch, which smeared and lied about Plaid Cymru politicians, and stooped so low as to mock the Sunderland accent of a Plaid Cymru Assembly member because she happened to be English. This site was run by Assembly Labour with the connivance and approval of elected politicians. Meanwhile, emails on discussion sites were written allegedly from Plaid supporters containing racist and anti-English comments. Every one of them was traced back to Millbank, where Labour henchmen were sending them out falsely.
They also made homophobic and sexist comments about Plaid members - these too were found to come from Labour HQ. What we need is for the people behind it to be outed in the same way as McBride and Draper and co.

40 comments:

Paul Halsall said...

I just went through the Aneurin Glyndwr Blog.

It has NOTHING to do with what was intended for the Red Flag blog.

tory boys never grow up said...

Another post another smear - why are sinking to the level of Guido, Draper and McBride is it that you want to be an attack blog purely designed to attack the motives of otehr parties. Aren't there any serious Conservatives out there who have made some policy pronouncements this week/moth/year?

Unsworth said...

@ tory boys

Is English your second language?

Sweet and Tender Hooligan said...

Odd Post Iain i must say.Perhaps you enjoyed too much Plaid hospitality?

Are you comparing the material Red Rag was proposing an Aneurin Glyndwr with a straight face?

AG offers some pithy political posts a kin to Plaid attack blogs such as Welsh Ramblings (which is written by Plaid staff).

Its knockabout political point scoring, its not nasty and vindictive. Please provide us with some evidence of it going beyond political knock about.

You then justify it with a commenter offering accusations without proof. What better way to accuse another blog of offering innuendo then by promoting more innuendo.

Dear me - the cybernats will be crowing!

tory boys never grow up said...

Margaret Thatcher makes her first political pronouncement in a long time and you missed it. Don't worry it was garbage anyway - but just thought your usual readers would like to be kept up to date.

PS on the otehr hand she does seem to have rather more to say about the economy than the Shadow Chancellor.

Sweet and Tender Hooligan said...

http://british-nats-watch.blogspot.com/

Of course, this is merely a figment of our imagination.

Iain Dale said...

Sweet and Tender - does the withdrawn video ring any bells?

Silent Hunter said...

Unsworth LOL

Damn! I wanted to say that ;o)

Clearly 'Tory Boys etc' is a product of Labours Edukashun, educasion, edupyeroccasionally policy.

Paul Halsall said...

PSST: You know we just reputedly had a major terrorist attack planned on Manchester last week. Twelve people were arrested. But the story has vanished. I have no idea if they were guilty, but they will be deported in any case.

Blogging is not THAT good a thing if all this fuss has been about Staines' ego, and a really major story is simply swept away.

Sweet and Tender Hooligan said...

"Sweet and Tender - does the withdrawn video ring any bells?"

Most certainly, but is that even in the same league as Red Rag?

http://british-nats-watch.blogspot.com/2009/02/welsh-language-lco.html

I wonder where they got the idea from...

Iain, fair enough, criticise the site, i have done so myself. But its simply hackneyed to make no mention of the other parties anon attack blogs written by staff.

kinglear said...

being in Scotland I took a lok at a leaky chanter.I'm not sure how many people read it, but the writing and content could only be described as poor. The Tory blogs all have good writing at the very least. Whether you agree or not with the content is another matter.I can only compare it to University parties. Tory parties always had the best looking girls and the most fun. Labour parties were always worthy but dull.
WV=flueness

Richard Abbot said...

The most depressing aspect of all this is that McBride Draper & Sons felt that the name 'The Red Rag' would be appropriate. I recognise that a Labour Party must exist as a voice and expression for a group in society. One party rule, as we have now seen again, is unhealthy. Trying to excite the core vote by denigrating the concept of the noble (if misguided) Red Flag to a Rag is akin to calling a pro Tory blog '3 million and we don't care'. Untrue in word and spirit. Mcbride Draper, Brown and Sons must be round the bend.

Forward said...

How would you describe Guido?

Caron said...

Funnily enough I mentioned A Leaky Chanter in a blog posting today - it's basically a very witty satire and nothing like what Red Rag was supposed to be about. They also run a fake Alex_Salmond Twitter account. To me, this kind of stuff is ok - taking the mickey out of the Government is fine. What's wrong is pulling apart people's personal lives in the way Draper and McBride were planning.

I don't know if it's directly associated with the Labour Party, but I would consider it a welcome breath of fresh air up here.

Marian said...

There is something rotten eating it away at the core of the once honourable Labour party and it is called New Labour. Under Blair and Brown, the Labour Party has become solely about the pursuit and retention of power. In its desperation to retain power New Labour has routinely indulged in politics that are so dirty, smear filled, personalised, and negative, that they have reached a new low in UK politics. Its agent provocateurs are brutal, malevolent, mendacious and extremely unpleasant. Some infest these blog posts. One man is more responsible than most for this sate of affairs - Gordon Brown. In the much-vaunted 'court of public opinion', the verdict is that Brown's is a government which has lost all direction or semblance of coherence. It is pitifully, woefully, even dangerously out of its depth. It is devoid of ideas, denuded of principle, absent even of endearing personalities. Here in Scotland, it has long since ceased to be a Labour party and is now simply the anti-SNP party, infected with the canker-ridden sourness of temper tantrums that flow from someone having ‘stolen’ their sweetie.

Malc said...

Rumour has it that former Labour MSP Allan Wilson (who was so upset at losing his seat in 2007 by just 48 votes) is running A Leaky Chanter...

http://malcintheburgh.blogspot.com/2009/03/ex-msp-running-anti-nat-blog.html

Simon Dyda said...

Good of you to point this out, Iain. AG is a boil-in-the-bag version of Red Rag, and thinks it is perfectly okay - among other things - to misquote parliamentary candidates from other parties.

Anuerin Glyndwr is an official Labour blog

Absolutely correct, Iain.

But its simply hackneyed to make no mention of the other parties anon attack blogs written by staff.

These so-called "attack blogs" are independent of the parties they support, are certainly not endorsed by any party, and there is no evidence whatsoever that they are run by party 'staff'. Just because you were outed (on more than one occasion) as a staff blogger (consequently losing your job) doesn't mean that everybody else is, Marcus.

Simon Dyda said...

We in Wales also had a Labour smear blog, called Natwatch, which smeared and lied about Plaid Cymru politicians, and stooped so low as to mock the Sunderland accent of a Plaid Cymru Assembly member because she happened to be English. This site was run by Assembly Labour with the connivance and approval of elected politicians. Meanwhile, emails on discussion sites were written allegedly from Plaid supporters containing racist and anti-English comments. Every one of them was traced back to Millbank, where Labour henchmen were sending them out falsely.
They also made homophobic and sexist comments about Plaid members - these too were found to come from Labour HQ. What we need is for the people behind it to be outed in the same way as McBride and Draper and co.


Over to you, Mr David Taylor.

Sweet and Tender Hooligan said...

Simon,

I have ignored you for a while, will continue to do so, other than to ask you this.

Do you believe Welsh Ramblings is written by plaid staff and Plaid AMs staff?

Yes or no.

HarveyProcter said...

are you now taking requests from supporters of other parties to chip in with their own smear allegations Mr Dale? You seem to be running out of steam having over done the Tom Watson thing.A bit over excited perhaps?

Simon Dyda said...

I have ignored you for a while, will continue to do so, other than to ask you this.

Er, actually you left a comment on my blog the other day. Please try harder at ignoring me in future, thanks.

Do you believe Welsh Ramblings is written by plaid staff and Plaid AMs staff?

Yes or no.


Belief is for the religious, Marcus.

Do you have proof? Yes or no?

If not, stop whining and let the adults talk.

Sweet and Tender Hooligan said...

Simon,

True, i praised an excellent blog round up. You are a great aggregator of other people's opinion, always have been.

I refuse to offer insults back. Good luck with yours.

I have proof, no panic at all.

We shall in the next few weeks how that pans out for those blogs.

You said they are independent of party, that is based on your opinion. The reality is very different, as we shall see.

Plato said...

Gremlin has buggered rolling news update

Here is the latest version of coverage so far

scotch said...

Iain, I presume from this that you agree with Pavlov that "racist and anti-English comments" are a bad thing. So do I.
Are anti-Scottish comments different?

Richard Abbot said...

How would you describe Guido?

I'll take GF on his word, he is an 'equal opportunities hater of all politicians'. Cameron and Co had better be Daz White Clean or i foresee another scalp or two down the road.

Marian has it spot on. New Labour is the cancer eating away at the heart of something i disagree with (democratic socialism) but recognise has done some good over the years.
The actions of McBride and Draper and Co make a Cameron landslide all the more likely - what did Francis Pym say about landslides?

Simon Dyda said...

I refuse to offer insults back.

That will make a nice change.

I have proof, no panic at all.

We shall in the next few weeks how that pans out for those blogs.

You said they are independent of party, that is based on your opinion. The reality is very different, as we shall see.


I won't hold my breath.

Richard said...

The muppets are out in force aren't they? Is there an orchestrated Labour campaign to attack this site and others involved? Compare with Kevine MacGuire's where all the comments are against Brown/McBride to yours, Iain.

Key bored warrior. said...

You forgot The Scotsman, that once honourable jacobite Edinburgh newspaper has been assimilated by Millbank and now just publishes mostly Labour anti-SNP press releases.

trevorsden said...

Desperate garbage from the labour hacks here.

Face it - You and your lot got caught out in your nasty games.

Go head keep licking Browns feet you gullible saps.

James D said...

At least Wales has a mature enough politics that the universal reaction to Labour's Aneurin Glyndwr attack blog and its plagiarized song was one of hilarity. But Natwatch's "let's attack people for their accent" is the worst side of Welsh Labour: it's rooted in attacking the so-called crachach out of envy of their success. A party that attacks its own nation's successes deserves no votes.

Pavlov said...

The Plaid Cymru Assembly member that Natwatch attacked for being form the north of england is Janet Ryder. They also attacked her for learning Welsh - she actually comes to our country and has the temerity to learn the language of many of her constituents. She must be smeared at all costs. let's get her for both being English and speaking Welsh. Natwatch hated welsh-speakers too - accused them of rubbing sticks together to make fire, called them primitive and backward, etc etc.
Natwatch was a Labour-run site. Indeed Labour Assembly members referred to it in glowing terms on their own blogs.

Jess The Dog said...

I've never really bothered with Leaky Chanter. I don't think many other people do.

There are two Scottish Labour blogs in particular that I know of and dip into:

Kezia Dugdale's Soapbox. She works for the infamous George Foukles. An entertaining blog, it is on-message and vanished shortly after the Glenrothes by-election kicked off....perhaps related to some allegations about the murky Glenrothes candidate selection process which she deleted, also to do with her own stated ambition to stand for the Scottish Parliament. The blog's back now, regular video diaries from Iain Gray (must go and watch my paint dry miaow!).

http://keziadugdale.blogspot.com/

Yapping Yousuf. Entertaining as well, but on-message....I recall a clumsy attempt to dump in press release material as commentary. A lot of original stuff, including the campaign over the lunatic would-be mosque bomber....he was right on press hypocrisy but perhaps not right on this particular issue. Good nonetheless.

http://keziadugdale.blogspot.com/

Leaky Chanter just puts the boot into Salmond and others in a fairly half-assed way.

Jess The Dog said...

Oops...Yapping Yousuf is here:

http://www.yousufhamid.com/

Aye We Can ! said...

"A leaky chanter" is generally labourite drivel, and indeed sometimes amising - see the latest video it dug up of Salmond singing about two decades ago. Really funny - an independent Sctland's first Eurovision entry? It would win, but for all the wrong reasons

Leakey Chanter might develop into something more nasty, but at present its pretty benigh, fair game I think. And it aint yet made much of an impact - barely known by even political bloggers.

Who runs it? - I had heard , but have no evidence, Sinom Pia, former Scotsman diarist and now chief spin doctor for Scottish Labour Leader Ian Gray - a special adviser indeed. As I say, "id just heard", but perhaps the one tie up with the McBride debacle.

I alsmost anticipate its near immediate dissapearance from the Blogshere , as labour tries to clean up its act. So watch that video while you can

Montague Burton said...

Malc, If his urologist's report is to be believed, Allan Wilson is more of a leaking chancer than the Leaky Chanter.

The SLAB blog that deserves heaps of ridicule is "The Grumpy Spindoctor" written by Mike Elrick former Labour candidate, assistant to John Smith and oft described as 'a male version of Helen Liddell - but without the balls'. No new ideas, no refreshing alternatives just plain old anti-SNP bile.

Oddly enough when trying to access his blog http://grumpyspindoctor.blogspot.com/
one is asked for a username and password to Ben Brogan's blog at the Daily Mail....odd eh?

geraldae said...

Distasteful, I know, but all I can think whenever I hear the name Red Rag is a tampon. What a ridiculous name for a site.

Unsworth said...

@ Paul Halsall

Ah, how touching such blind faith in 'the authorities' is. Remember the tanks at Heathrow? Nostalgia, eh?

As to Guido's ego, well, so what? You seriously believe this whole thing is being driven by his ego? It would not surprise me if you do.

Mr. Musicology said...

To be fair, the murky world of political blogging has been under question for many years.

And to be fair, the entire genre is tory invented. For years, guys like Guido Fawkes and Iain Dale have used the unregulated nature of the internet, from their offshore hideouts, to slander, smear, and spread rumour.

They claim to be independent. I really doubt Ian Dale and Guido Fawkes are any more independent than the recently proposed Red Rag, in which the aim was to COUNTER the murky things that go on in tory political blogging in the first place.

It was only last year that Mr. Fawke’s (who’s e-mail address has recently been linked to a Tory HQ server) was claiming John Prescott had had numerous affairs in the last decade. Speculation, he felt no need to apologise for.

If you live by the word, mr Dale, you die by the sword.

Mr Cameron and Viscount Osborne can hardly complain that their private lives (STDs, blacking up, cross dressing) is now being gossiped about in public.

And you can hardly criticise it. You basically invented the genre of poking and prodding rival MPs, from your offshore haven. Probably on the payroll of Cameron himself


Are you actually claiming this, and the Guido Fawkes sight aren't exactly the same thing as the proposed Red Rad Smear site?

I do notice how you sometimes favour Tory MPs over Labour? How odd.

Maybe the money's better with the opposition

CitizenSmart said...

mr musicology

what a pathetic post. Neither Guido nor Iana Dale have ever hidden their tory leanings. But neither of them are controlled by or paid by the Tory party, and most certainly not the taxpayer.

I dont belive you are that thick that you dont know that, nor know the difference, but rather you, witingly or othetwise are just part of the Brown orchestrated cover up

I am no tory, never voted tory, never even condidered it - a labour party member for 30 years until i saw the light, became thougroughly sicked by the self serving, dishonest, corrupt corpse that the Labour Prty under Blair and Brown has become.

Guido and otherd - like that well known Tory agent Tom Harris MP - have done agreat public sevice exposing all this and for free. Whatever the
ir motves - and i do think there is a things called truth seeking, decency, honour that trancend ideological difference - they are clearly not motivated by power or money -unlike £100k plus state funded McBride probably £100,000 plus direct labour party.UNIYE funde Derrick Draper. Or the entire Nulab Cabinet and its supprting cast

Nor are they The Prime Minsiter, accountable to the people , all 60 million of us.

And why on earth is Draper still editing Labour list, why is he not been immeditely suspended as a Labour party member, pending expulsion moves?

Why have you come here to spoout disembling drivel rather than be asking serous questions about who is runninbg YOUR party and our country

And "more money in the opposition" - are you joking. You people have fleeced us for hundreds of millions straight into your own pockets, Power has been bought with public funds - the entire geneesis of Gordon Brown rise top power, THat plus the and bullying, organised smearing and intimidation of opponents, left right and centre as well. Hundreds of honest people hes done in for one reason they got in his way

The boot is now on the other foot an he, you, and folks like you dont like it up them

Now go fuck off back to your nuLab bunker - the Red Army is coming after you. And if guido and co can help us get you, good.

Jimmy said...

"Neither Guido nor Iana Dale have ever hidden their tory leanings."

Guido certainly tries to.