Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Ejection of UK News and Politics

The prevailing opinion which has come in today via e-mail and comments falls into three categories:

1] The man is well aware of what is going on around him and even if he has himself covered and his supporters are doing it all [or the party behind him], they have blighted these awards, the BNP is using them for their own purposes and UKN&P should be ejected forthwith. [about 40%]

2] He's as guilty as hell - everything points to it but I can't see how we can actually eject him without documentary proof. [about 50%]

3] The man is innocent and can't be held responsible for what his supporters may or may not have decided to do. [almost 10%]

4] UKN&P himself, who states:

I am a bit irratated you suggested UK News and Politics was involved in vote stacking in any way. I simply put a post on the blog encouraging readers to support the blog and nominate and I send out an email to the monthly newsletter subscribers. I did not realise promotion of the awards and encoraging readers to nominate and vote was considered vote stacking.

My case is this:

1] My background as a Headmaster of a Secondary School puts me in the same category as the insurance assessor or policeman, in that you are always investigating this or that matter which arises with students. You hear so many stories and see so many people trying it on, seemingly plausibly but sometimes there's something which "smells" wrong.

So you become more critically observant and start writing things down. The moment you voice your suspicions, the other usually becomes more careful, covering his tracks.

2] In the nominations phase, the first sign was the excessive politeness, the meticulous nature of the entry, down to the url and the sameness of the format. Many different people were nominating UKN&P but the format and language were the same. I'd like to have posted one of these and will do so once I can get an hour to wade through the 865 e-mails I've kept and find it again. [At this point, no proof.]

2] By the third day of nominations, the same format e-mails were coming in but all that indicated was that the guy had organized his troops well. Another thing was the same format nominations for certain movie and other sites, right down to the wording and layout and the same sign off message but that's another issue.

3] I posted a comment in an "issues" post, [with no proof, mind]: "The BNP were well organized."

At 9:01 PM, youdontknowme said...

Thanks for everything you are doing for the awards. BNP were organised? Well if we can do it online...

A lot of people nominated a lot of people and many were complimentary but not in the same way. I was very suspicious now and e-mailed one blogger and asked if he knew who this UKN&P was. "Oh, the BNP blogger?" [This was no proof whatsoever but the reply was immediate.]

4] The nominations came to an end and eight e-mails came to me protesting against the BNP hijacking of the awards this way. How these people made the connection between UKN&P and the BNP is unclear, except for one who said: "He's a front man for the party. Not a member himself but with ties to party members." I now e-mailed bloggers of a more libertarian nature to get a more easy-going opinion on it all. The replies were interesting and to the point. [Still no proof].

5] I felt it was time to set the cat among the pigeons and wrote in a post about it and at 6:14 AM, thebestnewsfirst immediately replied [see above], followed at 7:05 AM by youdontknowme, defending himself on the question of vote stacking. The immediacy of how they picked up on anything happening was eye opening [but still not proof].

6] So, UKN&P finished in an extraordinary position for such a small blog with under 100 readers and leading or high in so many categories, due to very slick nominations from his supporters [that in itself is not an accusation]. [Still no proof.]

7] Voting started and very soon he was leading in a number of categories and polling strongly, too strongly for under 100 readers. [Still no proof.] Tony Sharp posted on the matter on Friday, June 08, 2007 and the votes suddenly stopped for UKN&P, who replied:

I simply suggested that my readers voted for central news because I appreciate them promoting my blog by naming it blog of the week. I have NO idea how I am winning in categories. [Still no proof.]

8] His votes picked up again after an interval but at the same time, a number of e-mails came in, this time not from nominees and this time offering "proof" that he was indeed tied with the BNP and that they were using multiple IP addresses to skew the results.

I didn't see at this point that if he was BNP, why they'd need to be bothered if they had enough supporters - they would have to be careful how many votes they allowed to go on so it didn't play into the hands of their detractors. Nevertheless, I wrote, at this point:

Undue influence. There are three allegations which have been made both by e-mail and in one comment on a post: A particular British political group has hijacked and skewed the results by waging a concerted campaign to artificially boost its candidate's results in particular categories not, for example, in Category 17 where they don't have anyone.

Extraordinarily, it was Wayne of Central News who did all the defending. And UKN&P? He posted, on his site:

I will be out of town from Sat 9 June until Wed 12 June and will be writing posts if (hopefully when) I have any free time.

His votes suddenly slumped to the point where I got worried myself and Calum Carr had had enough, which brings us to last night and my post this morning.

9] However, Unity said at 8:52 AM...

Regarding Calum's comments about one blog doing well for the first three days and then getting very few votes over the weekend, much the same has happened to myself in category four. So far as I can tell, the 'message' in this is simply that many of my regular readers visit from the office and have other/better things to do at the weekend than vote in online polls.

Fair comment except, as another e-mailer pointed out, then what the heck happens when he returns? [Still no proof.]

10] Then came the extraordinary vote surge which I warned evryone to watch for on Wednesday but it came early. How, after a zero increase in his votes and telling everyone he was away until Wednesday, somehow 30 votes went on his site in Category 10 and similar increases in other categories between midnight and next morning. He's a Brit. Was he awake all night or his legion of supporters? [Still no proof.]

11] Today his votes suddenly stopped again for several hours immediately following the posting of the insinuations and no one but Wayne, of Central News, sprang to the defence. His supporters [and look at the number of comments on the posts on his site] have been silent.

With my background, this, more than any of the other things smacks of a very strategic game where they await my move, make a few of their own then go silent and await the fallout. In other words, waiting for me to play my best shot, knowing they will achieve their goal of winning their categories anyway, so why bother getting into arguments?

Let Wayne do that for them. I have made what appear to be unsubstantiated allegations and no one has torn strips off me, no one has rebutted me. They've simply waited, except for one solitary comment on my site by someone called Sockpuppet:

I have voted for UK News and Politics 1,712 times today, but my votes don't seem to coming through. This doesn't seem fair.

Now, follow her link. Even though the post is tongue in cheek:

Oh, yes. Today the Blogpower Awards, tomorrow the world. We shall reclaim the world for the Aryan race and that starts here and now. Show the world that the RIGHT people can win the Blogpower Awards.

UK News and Politics has our support. A vote for this blog is a step towards bringing about the Utopia of the Fourth Reich.
It is at hand!

... it includes a picture of Hitler in the sidebar and the proviso:

What This Blog Stands For

The Programme of the this blog is designed to be of limited duration. The leaders have no intention, once the aims announced in it have been achieved, of establishing fresh ones, merely in order to increase, artificially, the discontent of the masses and so ensure the continued existence of the Party.

This is the same site which has a blogger called The Bournemouth Nationalist who said...

I can assure you of one thing, Crushed, the BNP hasn't the slightest interest in these insignificant and fatuous awards.

Conclusion

I believe there is more than a prima facie justification that UKN&P can be asked to depart [others have put it far more graphically than that] on the grounds that:

1] He lied about his connection with the BNP;

2] He lied about his 100 votes or less, in terms of his total support and entered the competition under false pretences;

3] He is running a campaign where his supporters are clearly taking the p--s out of us all and he is doing nothing whatsoever to remonstrate with them or write disclaimers on their sites, asking for them not to endorse him.

4] He is the subject of strange voting patterns in the small hours of the morning and the circumstantial evidence above, if not proving his actions, at least highly indicate them.

I believe that but my legal advice today said that yes, there was such a case against him on the evidence but unfortunately, we can't ask him to depart in that we could be involved in litigation the moment we take this action.

Theefore, on legal grounds, Blogpower must cave in and allow UKN&P to do with these awards whatever it takes his fancy to do.

Tomorrow morning I'll write about the multiple IP addresses issue.

13 comments:

Daily Referendum said...

You lay with dogs, you get fleas.

youdontknowme said...

Is this all the evidence you have?


There is no proof the Bourenemouth nationalist is even a blogger of that spoof blog (were you implying that?.


1] He lied about his connection with the BNP

I am sure that he is not a member of the BNP. If he is he has made no mention of it on his blog.



2] He lied about his 100 votes or less, in terms of his total support and entered the competition under false pretences;

This could be the case however I have noticed that he has not got a hit counter which means that he might not know.


3] He is running a campaign where his supporters are clearly taking the p--s out of us all and he is doing nothing whatsoever to remonstrate with them or write disclaimers on their sites, asking for them not to endorse him.

Why would he write disclaimers? He wants to win.


He is the subject of strange voting patterns in the small hours of the morning and the circumstantial evidence above

This is what happened in my blog of the month vote. For three nights on the trot he was losing by about 30 votes and then sudenly when I woke up in the morning he was winning.

james higham said...

As usual and as expected, you gloss over and ignore all the major points. This is to be expected and I'm not getting into a disussion with the BNP.

My legal advice is that we indeed have a case but that it could cost. So we're not doing it as we're meant to be a fun thing.

But you can rest assured, Wayne, that the moment these awards finish, moves will be made.

Lord Nazh said...

The utmost stink that this is causing, on a 'free poll' with no prize to earn or win is very upsetting.

I realize that most of BP are very much against BNP, yet I thought BP was different.

If this continues, things may indeed change. My attitude toward BP is souring fast.

Mr Eugenides said...

Sadly, if you have a system which is explicitly set up under the banner "vote early, vote often", then you reward those who do exactly that.

And if you are permitted to mobilise people on your behalf to vote for you as often as the rules and technology permit you to, then you reward those who have more people on their side than you do.

Any awards system should have, as its aim, the rewarding of the best blogs, not the bloggers with the best whip system. What we have here, gentlemen, is - if the ladies will pardon me - an old-fashioned pissing contest.

james higham said...

...realize that most of BP are very much against BNP, yet I thought BP was different...

No, most of Britain is against it and with good reason. This above is the comment of a North American who doesn't know what goes down over here.

BP IS different, which is why we're one of the few groups to tolerate BNP members and have a wide range of views. If the majority, who are of different political persuasions, are anti-BNP then there must be a very good reason for it.

james higham said...

Also, when have you seen me before so uncompromising? You haven't but these bozos have pushed too far and this is the result. Many of us, Lord Nazh, have had a gutful of this crew and I'm sorry you blame us rather than them.

Lord Nazh said...

I don't 'blame' anyone for what you and they have going against each other James.

I do 'blame' you and those that are complaining about the results of this vote. Unless you can show how they are being illegal, being undesirable doesn't cut it with me.

There are a few blogs in BP that I would take outside and shoot if I could, but I don't complain if/when they get votes or visits. BP is (I thought) supposed to be about the bloggers, not the politics.

I understand what you guys dislike about BNP, yet I don't see many of you attempting dialog on wayne's site or the 'disputed' UK news site either. That's understandable, I don't visit those sites I want to shoot (well ok, I do a couple of them).

This has NOTHING to do with each BP blogger individually as a person or a blogger, this has to do with the reaction of BP as a whole to an accusation of having people vote for someone in a contest that counts votes for someone o.O

That would be like throwing out an election because the candidate got people to vote for him, not because he was the best candidate, but because he was in a party they liked...

Can you not see the point?

james higham said...

Look, this is an international poll. A party from one of the countries is skewing the votes to win for political reasons and bloggers who aren't even BPers but are top blogs are being overin by that.

I just posted exactly what they've been up to and if you'd been in my shoes doing things from this end, you'd have come to the same conclusions.

You're zeroing in on BP but many comments come from non BP people. If you could see what is said in the e-mails - very much toned down here on site, you'd see that there's something going down here and it's not jsut BP dislikes BNP. It's much more than that.

You're ignoring one thing - if there's so much anger, even from me and I'm not a ranter, there has to be something in it, yes?

Do you think I'd waste my time and my nerves over this - do you know how long that post took to put together?

It's not that we suddenly decided - oh, let's all be angry these few days. Everyone over here knows this has been going on. We left the North Americans out of it because you don't know the stormtrooper tactics as well as we do.

Lord Nazh said...

" 1] He lied about his connection with the BNP;

2] He lied about his 100 votes or less, in terms of his total support and entered the competition under false pretences;

3] He is running a campaign where his supporters are clearly taking the p--s out of us all and he is doing nothing whatsoever to remonstrate with them or write disclaimers on their sites, asking for them not to endorse him.

4] He is the subject of strange voting patterns in the small hours of the morning and the circumstantial evidence above, if not proving his actions, at least highly indicate them."

1) and? there was no requirement to disclose any connection to anything to get involved
2) then pull him, that is an 'illegal' activity and worthy of being upset about
3) again and? he is running a campaign on HIS site to get votes in a poll?
4) prove strange = guilty and ill jump in.

"You're ignoring one thing - if there's so much anger, even from me and I'm not a ranter, there has to be something in it, yes?"

Does the anger stem from him winning or him possible being 'bnp'? I noticed in the example where he got 30 votes overnite, he didn't get as many votes as a couple other blogs (and didn't pass them), are they included in the suspician?

You had to realize that the votes would go exactly like they have. Any person that wants to win a poll bad enough can and will, and they can do it legally.

I realize I am focusing on BP'ers to the extent of not talking about others, but I havn't seen the others responses :)

Sockpuppet said...

Can I just say us skinheads are fighting perfectly fair.

I only vote one at a time.

And so do my socially inadequete friends.

The Bournemouth Nationalist said...

"My background as a Headmaster of a Secondary School puts me in the same category as the insurance assessor or policeman, in that you are always investigating this or that matter which arises with students. You hear so many stories seemingly plausible but sometimes there's something which "smells" wrong."

This is just a small insignificant poll although it does interest me in its immaturity and delusional paranoia that I can't help keeping a watchful eye on it. Fascinating, much better than big brother, more avenues of suspicion than Miss Marple and yet so so English in its integrity we could be in Doc Martin country

Superb, keep up the good work

james higham said...

If we take a look at the Bournemouth Nationalist site and his contributions, they can safely be ignored. Lord Nazh is pushing a point he knows not of.

Of more concern are the outside comments and these I'll address now in the Current Issues post. This particular post has been closed off but feel free to comment on the one above.