Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Friday 7 June 2019

Fawkes Attacks Cadwalladr - Oh What A Giveaway

When someone is on your case, and closing in on the evidence, the last thing you should be doing is sounding off about it and thus drawing attention to yourself. But that level of intellectual rigour has clearly passed the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog by: while the Zelo Street post on Carole Cadwalladr getting ever closer to nailing them was in preparation yesterday, they went after her again.
The Great Guido wanted his adoring audience to know all aboutCarole’s Obsession”, because the last thing you want the opposition to know is that you are so short of ammunition that all you can do is echo their attack back at them. So what had new teaboy Tom Harwood, on behalf of his boss, have to say in his defence?
Donal Blaney

As so often, sadly, the latest Fawkes attack on Ms Cadwalladr means talking well, but lying badly. “Carole Cadwalladr is tweeting about Guido’s lawyer having another client, Cambridge Analytica. This is evidence of something she has yet to explain”. She doesn’t have anything to explain, because she has not Tweeted about that. She didn’t say Staines’ pal Donal Blaney was acting for CA. He couldn’t be. CA no longer exists.
While it’s par for the course for Harwood to get his facts wrong at the off, what is extraordinary about his latest snark is the dead giveaway he provides. Straight after the blatant falsehood, he snipes “We’re not the ones who have had to make endless corrections on this subject though are we, Carole?
No, Tom, and there is good reason for that. Let’s take this nice and slowly, shall we? One, the Fawkes blog doesn’t work to the same standards a newspaper does. The latter can’t just publish a whopper and hope they get away with it, and nor can they slyly delete the offending post and hope no-one notices the climbdown.
And Two, it’s not the Fawkes blog that is calling out powerful vested interests with lots of dark money behind them. So they don’t have all those high-powered lawyers on their case. As Ms Cadwalladr rightly says, The Great Guido is “a cornerstone of the right-wing propaganda machine that dresses up disinformation as ‘journalism’”.
Yet on blunders Harwood, closing with the magnificently delusional “Next time she wants to injunct Channel 4, Guido recommends she use Donal Blaney’s firm, he tends to win”. Tends to win, does he? Let’s do a little case study on that claim, shall we?
In February 2015, when Staines threatened legal action against this blog, his campaign progressed not necessarily to his advantage: one letter of rebuttal from my legal team was enough to send him on his way (post HERE). And it gets worse.
Later that year, when his then tame gofer, the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, had Blaney’s gang send me a legal threat, it didn’t even need a lawyer’s response to end the matter. I did it myself. So that’s for some value of “he tends to win”, then.

All that the Fawkes blog has done is to confirm to Ms Cadwalladr that she is on the right track. And that she is causing them considerable discomfort. Another fine mess.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at


Adrian Kent said...

While I loath Fawkes/Stains etc, as a data scientist I'm rather sceptical of the Cambridge Analytica furore. There is no public evidence that the algorithms produced by CA actually work. All we have (and I’ve asked Cadwaladr this directly) is “why would they spend all that money if they didn’t” – which isn’t really good enough.

Pretty much everyone involved has a motive to exaggerate their dastardly effectiveness.

Cambridge Analytica and their associated companies of course do – it’s good for business. The likes of Banks and the dark money providers do too as it wouldn’t be a good look for them to be exposed as victims of snake-oil salesmen, Facebook do as targeted marketing is their USP, Remain/Clinton do as it deflects attention from their appalling campaigning, and Cadwaladr and the Observer do as their effectiveness increases the impact of their stories. (“Election Swung by Dark Money” stories trump “Bloated, Desperate and a bit Thick Billionnaires Scammed By Techy Kids”)

O O O'Hanraha'hanrahan said...

@Adrian Kent
Trump, Farage, Arron Banks as victims !
Get away with your look over there crap about effectiveness.
Stick to The Spectator.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Staines is approaching his " Waffer thin mint" moment.