Following the severely adverse comment incurred by those making insulting, misogynistic and highly personal attacks on the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr, it seems that the penny has dropped with those out there on the right that it might be best advised to cut out the abuse. Sadly, the attacks have carried on, with the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog today signalling a resumption in hostilities.
Under the less than imaginative headline “Carole ‘Correction’ Cadwalladr” (must have been a heavy session last night), readers are told “Last week Carole Cadwalladr wrote of various spuriously connected groups in Westminster of colluding to smear ‘whistleblower’ Shahmir Sanni. These included BrexitCentral and the Institute of Economic Affairs”.
There was more. “But with her tail between her legs Carole has now made some pretty big corrections, undermining the entire premise of her article. She has admitted that neither BrexitCentral or the Institute of Economic Affairs were involved in her wild conspiracies and are in fact separate organisation … Cat got your tongue, Carole?” Smear? Check!
Sadly, this sneering hatchet job falls at the first hurdle. So let’s do this by the numbers. One, Ms Cadwalladr has not made any corrections, which leaves The Great Guido in need of the nearest extinguisher. In the meantime, the Fawkes folks can read by the light of their burning trousers that Two, there have been no “wild conspiracies”, because Three, the groups mentioned by both Ms Cadwalladr and whistleblower Shahmir Sanni were not “spuriously” connected. They were linked in Sanni’s unfair dismissal claim.
Four, those were the claims against the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance, which were not contested, and therefore by implication were admitted. Five, no-one claimed that Brexit Central and the IEA were not separate organisations. It is possible for separate organisations to be linked. So what of the claimed “corrections”?
Here they are, added to Ms Cadwalladr’s article on the TPA conceding Sanni’s claim. Firstly we have “BrexitCentral and the Institute of Economic Affairs were not parties to Sanni’s unfair dismissal claim against the TaxPayers’ Alliance”. But Ms Cadwalladr does not say that they were. Second comes “Jonathan Isaby, editor of the BrexitCentral website, emailed that the TaxPayers’ Alliance was not responsible for BrexitCentral, and that BrexitCentral’s article about Sanni had been a forensic examination of his claims”.
That’s Jonathan Isaby who was CEO of the TPA at the time. Making a claim about his new berth slagging off Shahmir Sanni which we are supposed to take on trust. But let’s see the third alleged correction. “A spokesperson for the Institute of Economic Affairs emailed that the IEA was an independent educational charity not a lobbying body”. That’s the IEA that is now under investigation after Mark Littlewood’s recent faux pas.
What can we deduce about these “corrections”? They aren’t really corrections, but claims made after publication of the article, which the Guardian website has acknowledged. So is that the game now? Wait for an article with Ms Cadwalladr’s name on the byline, send an indignant email, then when it gets acknowledged, shout “Yay! Correction!”? Still, it will convince the loathsome Toby Young and Julia Hartley Dooda, I suppose.
The Great Guido might as well not have bothered. This hatchet job is beyond lame.
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