Thursday, 19 February 2009

the three moskejeers (and dardazzathang)

i've developed that autocue disdain for all things messagespace that so many fellow citizens now reserve for muslims. it's very tedious, i know - unless you're the target of course.

article by alex hilton on labourhome:

A threat from a comrade

alexhilton Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 06:12:27 PM GMT Facebook

Today I got a disturbing and threatening phone call from a Labour member upset that I have a relationship with the Tory blogger Guido Fawkes.

Some time ago I set up a cross-party advertising system for political blogs called messagespace - and the ads on Labourhome are delivered through that system. Messagespace delivers ads onto I think about 40 blogs now from the very left to the very right. I no longer have any role in the company and own a small minority of shares in it - just 10%.
The reason for it being cross-party was that advertisers who had to be politically impartial could not advertise on a system that was wholly left wing.

This has been discussed on Labourhome in some depth a year ago.

More than my shareholding in Messagespace, I count Paul Staines (Guido) as a friend and I have many friend whose politics I disagree with. Some of them are Labour members.

Labourhome was never meant to be the Alex Hilton Ego Show and I'm very cautious not to post too often which I feel would make readers and writers think that there is an editorial line. I do have strong opinions on many subjects and this is just one of the places I express those opinions - but I wanted this to be a space where the entire breadth of Labour thought is welcome.

Now I won't say who has been threatening me because that would be unfair and I still hope he will change his mind. But I have been told that if I don't extract myself from Messagespace I will be painted as endorsing every offensive comment or article on the Guido Fawkes site, that of Devil's Kitchen, Iain Dale and every other right winger on the system.

I have been told that I don't have Labour values by owning shares in Messagespace though, frankly, I feel more guilty about not checking where my tiny pension pot is invested. I have been told that there will be a campaign to rubbish me in the Labour Party and this will inevitably reflect badly on Labourhome.

Now I really am not going to comment on who made this threat. What I would like is your views on whether I am wrong about my 10% ownership of Messagespace or my friendship with Paul Staines. I'm not saying I'm going to do anything different on the basis of your thoughts, I just felt that as you contribute to this site, you ought to be able to say in the open what you think and be able to hold me accountable.

Alex Hilton
07985 384 859

tim ireland (bloggerheads) got hold of the above offering like a dog with a new bone and made great play of paul staines' uncertain bankruptcy status - only to witness the entire post and comment-thread scratched silently from the labourhome website. other contributors helpfully pointed to the dangers of licking the arse of the worm-infested. but whatever the angle, mr hilton's conscience clearly felt the need to defend him.

then this from jag singh on labourlist:


I intended to stay out of this fight between you and Guido/Paul, but you've personally involved me and it's time I speak frankly. Those of us who have been involved in online electioneering for far longer than you, can clearly see that you're taking us all down in to the gutter. We last spoke a few days ago (about Labourlist taking MessageSpace ads - an idea YOU brought up months ago, btw) and we were still talking about the possibility of Labourlist joining the MessageSpace network. Now you are attacking me.

I'm comfortable with MessageSpace's dealings with Guido - and here's why:

Last week I mailed a cheque for £500 to Tom Harris' Glasgow South Constituency Labour Party for the revenue accumulated from MessageSpace ads on his website. MessageSpace has never done so with an MP from another party.

Last summer, during the Mayoral elections, MessageSpace helped Ken Livingstone's campaign (not Boris' team!), and we were able to work for bargain rates for the Labour Party. We were able to do it because the commercial side of our business makes us able to do things for free, like run charity ads for Action Aid and even the DEC.

MessageSpace has run successful campaigns for War on Want, and handled ad campaigns for unions (Unite, Amicus, CWU, TUC, NUT) and charities (Save the Children, Help the Aged, Royal British Legion, Stroke Association, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam, Media Standards Trust, Age Concern, Plane Stupid) alike. And yes, we've also done a little bit of work for Policy Exchange, the LibDems and the Conservative Party. These adverts appear on some forty blogs, of which Guido is just one.

As Chris Paul puts it, "MessageSpace is a help with the sustainability of blogs across the political spectrum and the boycott mentality advanced here is not likely to help the rest of MessageSpace's outlets." We've been able to direct more advertising money (and by extension, support) to sites like Labourhome, Labour Outlook, Kerron Cross, Bloggers4Labour, Tribune Online, Harry's Place than Google or any other ad network for the sole reason that we're able to aggregate our influential audience and deliver them directly to advertisers. Over the last few years we have paid tens of thousands of pounds to bloggers.

We have channelled and provided more financial support for more Labour blogs than anyone else. Your cack-handed attempt to get back at Guido/Paul is going to undermine all that. You are also going to get the back up of most of the rest of the blogosphere - big successful, influential sites like Do you understand or even realise we sell ads on behalf of all these sites? It is all very well for ConservativeHome and PoliticsHome who have substantial funding from Tory backer, they don't need us, most Labour blogs don't have any backers. Are you trying to undermine everyone else in your blind rage with Guido?

Before you start on about racism let me tell you something - I grew up in the deep South in a post-9/11 America, wearing a turban. In my time I have known racists and I know Paul Staines. I also know his father, and have joked with him in Hindi. It's probably better than mine, perhaps because he comes from Uttar Pradesh, in India. I've also played with Paul's youngest daughter, Priya. Trust me, I'm pretty sure Paul isn't racist.

If you really want to pick a fight with other bloggers - have at it. You are however in my view damaging the whole blogosphere with this fit of pique. So far you've just got everybody's backs up and done the party absolutely no favours. This pointless, stupid and ill thought out attack on a funding stream for many Labour supporting blogs is worse than counter-productive.

Give me a call - we should be working together to further the Party's efforts on the Web.


Jag Singh @ 11:06 am, Mon 16th Feb 2009

the above address was then summarily butchered by a mr steve dryden.

i love mr singh's list of good causes, as patronized by messagespace - he appears to have omitted the idf pizza fund.

paul staines, jag singh and alex hilton: three individuals united in friendship by a common desire to make money and diss muslims. they must find the anonymous comment facility on the guido fawkes blog an exhilarating release, at any time of day.

apology to paul staines: not so much a racist as a person who hates the devotees of one religion, very very much.

so where does the cuddly mr draper fit into all of this? (he comes across as one of those flawed but rather genial higher executive officers that one might be fortunate to encounter in the civil service...likes a long liquid lunch...and easily confused with david shaylor) labourlist stats are comparable with those of the guido fawkes blog, no wonder staines is pissed. however, the staines-draper-feud could all be for show: by the sounds of it, derek draper has put pressure on alex hilton to sell his shares in messagespace...isn't it paul staines who wants to buy them...?


spark up said...

jag singh and paul staines are now spinning furiously on derek draper's finger in an attempt to portray the guido/labourlist spat as an egostorm seeded by derek draper's desperation for attention and bloghits - when, according to alexa data, labourlist is actually getting traffic comparable to that of guido fawkes...

is it in fact paul staines and messagespace who are feeling under threat here?

little snitch said...

yes, much as paul staines, alex hilton and jag singh wish us to believe that the internal discord is behind the front door of labour's home, in reality, the painstaking orchestrations of messyplace are screeching away with all the gusto of a hindemith opera. all very distracting.

Rob Farrington said...

When you copied and pasted those paragraphs, did you notice the proper use of capitalisation?

And no, I'm not talking about the economy. I find it interesting that the first person to leave a comment on your post (which was you, which I find a bit weird but hey, it's your blog...) and the second commenter have both apparently never mastered the art of beginning their sentences with capital letters.

Did you both go to the same school?

spark up said...


i did indeed notice mr singh and mr hilton's interesting and creative use of capitalization, rob. nice play on words by the way! that one honestly hadn't occurred to me - maybe i'm slipping out a freudian message that i'm financially challenged!

yes, commenting on one's own blog is both a joy and functional - one always has after-thoughts, you see. as for your astute observation à propos conventional usage of big letters...i would concur with your deduction that both the little snitch and myself narrowly avoided brainwashing by the same educational institution.

not the full shilling said...



fräulein fussyknickers said...

not the full,

hm..hmm...'YOU'RE' not 'YOUR' i think old chap.

short change charlie said...

FF 18:48


sconzey said...

The only interesting, relevant, or cogent thing in this blog entry was that copypasta from Jag Singh. Thanks for that Spark Up. I'll be looking him up forthwith.

spark up said...


please don't use capitals when spelling my name, i find this most offensive

sir larry olivier (in the role of claudius king of denmark) said...

why can't jag singh and alex hilton just say 'business is business' and leave it at that? instead we get all this pandering to the labour party with hilton prostrating himself before the faithful, melodramatically putting the fate of his messagespace shares in their hands, and jag singh trying to buy off the collective socialist conscience with charitable donations and subs. they're definitely something...

two entrepreneurs feeling guilty about using and abusing the labour movement to enrich themselves?

some of my best friends are helping me make lots an lots of dosh said...

messagespace terms of service

confidentiality clause

You may not divulge to any third party commercially sensitive or otherwise confidential information about EOS Online Media, its business partners, employees, staff or contractors. You may not divulge to any third party commercially sensitive or otherwise confidential information about other Publishers using the MessageSpace service, their business partners, employees, staff or contractors.

obviously messagespace shareholders may ignore these restrictions when and where it suits them. it's one rule for them and another for the bloggers who are filling their pockets. all very new labour.

jag, how very dare you publicly discuss my family affairs in order to prop up your sordid business empire said...

messagespace terms of service