Friday, October 09, 2009 

Terror target Madonna?

Following on from the still reverberating TERROR TARGET SUGAR/Glen Jenvey Sun story, Unity has uncovered an until now unnoticed similar story in the Sunday People from the very same week back in January, this time focusing on posts supposedly left on the Islambase forum about Madonna. Interesting here is that the site targeted,, is of a much more decidedly radical flavour than was and is. Islambase has, as Unity points out, been of special interest to those involved in the tiny "anti-jihadist" movement, with the Centre of Social Cohesion, ran by the neo-con Douglas Murray, producing an entire tedious report on it (PDF). Westminster Journal has two equally fascinating articles, written by a "Guy Baldwin", which show even jihadists enjoy pornography, amazingly enough. More recently a document posted on entitled "Islambase exposed", since deleted and also now vanished from the Google cache, contained the personal details of many of those who post on the forum. Finally, there is also an Islambase Exposed blog, linked to one of the "Cheerleaders", which has a post containing very personal details on one of the key members of the forum.

Undoubtedly these connections are just simple coincidence. It's also doubtless coincidence that the Sunday People story, written by one Daniel Jones, was the person being contacted by Edward Barker, one of Patrick Mercer's office staff, with a view to getting a Glen Jenvey sourced report into his paper almost two months after Jenvey's fabrication was exposed.

As Unity concludes:
The role of Mercer’s office in, seemingly, placing dubiously sourced terrorism-related stories into the British press, at a time when Mercer was (and still) serving as Chairman of a Commons sub-committee on counter-terrorism, is a matter that Tim is still working on and although, at present, there’s no evidence to link Mercer or his staff directly to the faked Madonna story, it nevertheless seems clear that there is altogether more that needs to scrutinised in all this than just the [lack of] ethics of Britain’s tabloid press.

The plot continues to thicken.

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Friday, September 25, 2009 

Patrick Mercer has some questions to answer.

The response of Patrick Mercer to Tim Ireland's publishing of an email showing that his office was still working with Glen Jenvey almost two months after the "TERROR TARGET SUGAR" story was shown to be entirely his own work is a classic example of a politician in a hole not knowing when to stop digging. After previously stating to the Guardian that his office had never worked with him, about as blatant a lie as it was possible to come up with, he's now arguing semantics over exactly what "working with his office" entailed.

Tim has now posted 10 questions for Mercer, ones which he seems unlikely to get an answer to:

1. Sometimes Jenvey's information checked out, and sometimes it didn't. Did you 'check out' the SUGAR IS TERROR REVENGE TARGET story of 7 January 2009 by looking at the evidence before The Sun published?

2. Did you 'check out' the SUGAR IS TERROR REVENGE TARGET story of 7 January 2009 by looking at the evidence published at (after The Sun had published)?

3. Regardless of the perceived reliability of that evidence, did you then and do you now hold the view expressed by The Sun to the PCC that "sending polite letters" is "obviously a euphemism" for something far more sinister if/when published on (on the basis that it is a "fanatics website")?

4. At what stage (and on which date) did you first realise that Jenvey had indeed fabricated the evidence used by The Sun to allege the presence of extremism at, and the active targeting of named celebrities?

5. What was it that finally caused your office to part company with Jenvey? Was it the above discovery, you becoming personally aware of Glen Jenvey's false claim that his accuser was a convicted paedophile, or something else?

6. Was there ever any stage after you regarded your professional relationship to be over that your office continued working with Glen Jenvey (i.e. in a manner akin to the recently-released email to The People newspaper), but without your knowledge?

7. What disciplinary action (if any) was taken against the staff members who (maybe) worked with Jenvey against your wishes, (perhaps) did not show you relevant 'Sugar' evidence or (definitely) did not alert you to Jenvey's false accusations of paedophilia? What corrective measures (if any) were made to your procedures to avoid a similar compromising breakdown of communication?

8. You appear to be claiming that the quote used by The Sun in their letter to the PCC is now at least two years old. How old was it when The Sun used it (on 27 January 2009)?

9. Did The Sun check with you before using that quote in their letter to the PCC?

10. While they do conflict, you have released public statements about the severing of your relationship with Glen Jenvey. However, there is no statement on record about you severing links with another former associate and amateur 'terror expert' Dominic Wightman, and he appears to be suggesting that still support him. If you no longer have a professional/working relationship with Dominic Wightman, on what date did you sever links with him, and why was this decision taken?

All while this has been going on Tim has been the victim of a smear campaign, first by Jenvey himself, and now by Dominic Wightman, as well as by others who have been touting his home address around Twitter. You might well want to let your own MP know about what some high profile Tories have been involved in.

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Friday, March 09, 2007 

Tinker, tailor, Mercer, sailor...

You black and white bastard! Get moving!

It's pretty obvious that Patrick Mercer is not a racist. If he was, then it seems doubtful that so many soldiers who were in his ranks would have jumped almost immediately to his defense. There was also no problem with his comments that during training would-be soldiers would be insulted over their distinguishing features. I'd be a lot more surprised if they weren't; we were shouted at enough by teachers when doing cross-country at school. He could have perhaps made clearer that such comments are only out of encouragement rather than malice, but I suspect many weren't really shocked by that aspect of his interview with the Times.

Where Mercer's remarks came into difficulty is the contemptuous and arrogant way in which he out of hand dismissed the concerns of Marlon Clancy, a Commonwealth soldier from Belize. Clancy is setting up a trade-union of sorts for those who think they've been victims of either unfair treatment or racism in the army. Clancy himself, who joined the army in 1999, the same year as Mercer left, alleges that in one case he was attacked by soldiers dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Mercer's response to this was not exactly understanding. "Absolute nonsense. Complete and utter rot," was what he said. He then followed this up by stating:

"I came across a lot of ethnic minority soldiers who were idle and useless, but who used racism as cover for their misdemeanours."

He may well have done, and I'm sure that ethnic minority soldiers can be just as idle as some white recruits who coast rather than stretch themselves, but in response to Clancy's experiences this was too far of a generalisation. He may not have been suggesting that Clancy was lazy, or that all ethnic minority soldiers who claimed they've been racially abused are useless, it might have been honest and what he believes, but he must have expected he'd be challenged over it, and that many would find such comments risible at best.

Things may well have changed since Mercer left the army. In 2000, the year after he left, there were only 430 soldiers from Commonwealth countries. Since then, with British recruits white or otherwise drying up once it became clear that joining the army was no longer going to involve just peacekeeping, the army has had to resort to recruiting abroad. There are now over 6,000 from the Commonwealth in the ranks.

Clancy's other allegation was that there is now a racial hierarchy in the army. At the top there are the British white-born soldiers, then the black British born soldiers, and then there are the Commonwealth black soldiers. While this not may be the whole story, it's not to difficult to imagine that he may have something of a point. How far his example goes we simply don't know. As Sunny points out, up until recently the Gurkhas had far less benefits than their British-born comrades.

Should he have been sacked? In the current climate, especially after the Celebrity Big Brother debacle, with even the Sun raving about racial abuse, Cameron may well have had no other option. I personally don't think he should, that he should have been allowed to clarify exactly what he said and perhaps put in the caveats that he should have done at the time. I don't however think that Mercer's comments are by any means the end of his political career. He'll most likely be back after a length of time, and probably the wiser for it.

Related posts:
Big Stick Small Carrot - PR, not principles
Recess Monkey - Some of my best friends are ginger (with amusing comments)
Ministry of Truth - Oh Mercer, Mercy Me
Rachel North - Patrick Mercer, who resigned today
Bread and Circuses - That Mercer interview re-edited

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