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Tuesday 23 March 2021

Teaboy Tom In Scots Legal Doo-Doo

The value of information from Wikipedia rests on two factors: the prompt policing of rogue edits, and the quality of citations. Neither of these appeared yesterday to trouble Tom Harwood, replacement teaboy to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog, and as a result could land him in serious legal trouble.

What time is it Eccles?

Teaboy Tom was once again pretending to be a real journalist after news broke that Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had been cleared of breaching the ministerial code over the Alex Salmond ruckus. The independent inquiry, led by James Hamilton SC, the former Irish DPP, concluded she had not knowingly misled a committee of MSPs.

This conclusion was bad news for the Tory Party, who had put down a motion of no confidence in Ms Sturgeon - and, indeed, a rebuke to Tories south of the border for whom breaking the ministerial code is an all too regular occurrence. It was soon bad news for Harwood, as he leapt before looking and took a rogue Wikipedia edit on trust.

Interesting edits taking place on James Hamilton's wikipedia page today. Some users seem intent on removing lines stating that the report author is a former SNP adviser and member of the party. Interesting given his report clears Sturgeon”. The users seeking to remove that reference were right. It had no citation, because it was not true.

This Tweet was later deleted

Then Harwood overreached himself. “Politician cleared by member of politician’s own party” he asserted. And although he later deleted the Tweet, demonstrating that no teaboy is of perfect courage, his intervention had been quoted several times. It did not help his cause to have also referred to part of Hamilton’s conclusions as “fishy”.

Ross McCafferty was one of those responding. “This is the first I've ever seen a claim that James Hamilton is a member if the SNP. Law of averages would suggest Tom is talking utter bollocks”. Another Tweeter asked the obvious question: “why would the former Irish DPP and former head of the AG office in Ireland be an SNP member?

After perusing Harwood’s handiwork, James Doleman, who knows a little about matters legal north of the border, mused “Gutsy move spreading untruths about … one of the most senior and distinguished lawyers in the country, some might even say brave to the point of indifference to the possible consequences”. Like a defamation action.

A big Scots boy did it and ran away

Harwood then decided it was Wikipedia’s fault. “The lines stating Hamilton was associated with the SNP were on the page last week and removed this afternoon. Before last week there was a lot less activity on the page. Wikipedia: a front in the information war”. The smears have continued this morning with his pal Christian Calgie, the Fawkes apprentice sandwich monitor, once again attacking Ms Sturgeon. And once again without citations.

This latest desperate act is headlined “HOLYROOD INQUIRY CONFIRMS FINDINGS THAT STURGEON ‘MISLED’ THE COMMITTEE OVER ALEX SALMOND MEETING” - note use of quote marks - and pitches the lame conclusion “If she misled the committee, she’s misled Parliament. If she misled Parliament, she’s breached the ministerial code”.

Hardly going to distract James Hamilton from carpeting the Teaboy, though, is it? The Fawkes “star” caught lying again, and GB News’ judgment as suspect as ever. Bless.

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Anonymous said...

The latest example of how far right propagandists HAVE to get worse or fade away.

Which is why Britain is now on the verge of death by cultural poisoning.

If tory Britain is not swept away there can be only one logical conclusion to this evil.

Arnold said...

You mean England and Tory England.

Jonathan said...

Teaboy Tom to follow in the footsteps of that other RW non fact checker, one Julie Burchill..

Anonymous said...


A Britain under Labour Blairites isn't going to improve matters, judging how we were fed with bullshit in the past over Iraq.

Anonymous said...

"tory" includes Bliar/Brown and Starmer Quislings.

Only here to help.

Anonymous said...

Only here to be a dick.

There, fixed it for you.

Anonymous said...

You managed it.

Well done.��

Jonathan said...

Tom is a RW stenographer, Tom isn't very bright, he writes knocking copy for Guido & the Daily Mail badly.

Tom isn't a journalist, real journalists check their sources and corrobate their stories before publishing them...