Vanity editing of Wikipedia is nothing new, especially for those out there on the right, as witness the entry for Raheem “call me Ray” Kassam, pushing the idea that he was “Mr Conservative”. Alas, “Ray” was not well-known enough to merit an entry at all, and so his attempt at self-promotion was deleted, to the relief of right-thinking people who would rather it had not appeared in the first place.
Nah, it can't have been me editing it, I was in the pub, shit no, office, knocking back some serious booze, sod it, no, coffee. Yeah, to overcome another hangover. Oh bollocks
But the entry for the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, who styles himself Guido Fawkes, is still very much in evidence. However, and in this case we have a significantly sized however, what is contained in that entry has seen several less than totally flattering items removed recently, with the result that Staines has had his image miraculously cleansed – well, for the time being, anyhow.
Sadly, whoever has been cleaning up the Staines Wikipedia entry has been rather amateurish: the footnotes in the text start at number 2, because number 1, although the text to which it refers has been deleted, is still present. This refers to Staines’ court action which led to his declaring himself bankrupt: the judge passed severely adverse comment on his tendency to dishonesty.
Also missing is the most unfortunate episode that occurred when Staines was leading the Federation of Conservative Students branch at Humberside College of Further Education: that attempt at a pact with the BNP. This, of course, is less than convenient when Staines is painting himself as an “anti-racist”, as does his past fondness for the Apartheid regime in South Africa.
And the clean-up of The Great Guido’s Wikipedia entry has extended to remove any reference to the altercation outside London Bridge tube station during the 2012 London Mayoral election campaign, when a camerawoman was knocked to the ground. Staines is highly sensitive about this incident, threatening legal action against anyone suggesting he was the one doing the knocking over.
Then there is the curious episode of “fake sheikh” Mazher Mahmood, whose photo Staines published after a well-publicised campaign. Now that The Great Guido has taken the Murdoch shilling, you will find no trace of this at the Fawkes blog. But that mildly inconvenient fact has not been allowed into his Wiki entry. And the favourable rebranding has one truly puke-making finale.
While the narrative has had his bankruptcy wiped off, the pact with the BNP removed, his South African links excised, and the London Bridge incident purged, we now know that “In 1981 he won the UK Atari Asteroids video games championship and went on to come ninth in the world championships held in Washington DC”. There is even a photo of the angelic teenager to illustrate the great occasion.
No doubt Staines had nothing to do with turning his Wiki entry into a hagiography.