Thursday 15 March 2018

All-Time Record Sock-Puppet Operation in Guardian

This really is hilarious - and potentially of even greater significance than just setting records for sock-puppetry.

Clearly stung by the tsunami of opprobrium coming his way, J.Corbyn's machine has lumbered into action on the Jezza-McMafia crisis with a lame apologia in the Grauniad.  More on his performances this week in another post.

But (- they just couldn't help themselves -) they then whipped in a posse of grovelling BTL comments.  And thousands of 'likes'.  That's where it gets really silly - as many as 538** likes for one particularly sycophantic comment.  By way of context, generally speaking 20 likes is very big for even a popular CiF comment, as a glance around the Grauniad's website will confirm.

They've clearly overdone it grotesquely: the Graun itself lost patience after a mere 23 comments and shut the thing down.  (Again - context - a juicy opinion piece will often attract two or three thousand comments before the thread is closed.)

As I say: more on this whole phenomenon later.  In the meantime, go over to CiF and have a chuckle.  Oh, the panic-stricken ineptness of it all !


Update:  538 was after just a few minutes.  Though they've long since closed the thread, the Graun is still allowing upvotes which have now reached fantasy proportions  


Anonymous said...

I was about to say "nonsense! Some Guardian comments get a couple of hundred upvotes" - then I saw that there were 23 comments. 538 likes on a 23-comment post does seem a lot, perhaps unprecedented, so it looks like Momentumites.

But the Guardian will close comments when it doesn't like the way they're going, whatever the subject. I think when they finally did an opinion piece about the Cologne New Year sex attacks (about 2 weeks later) comments lasted maybe 20 minutes.

I bet the Blairites are kicking themselves they weren't better organised sock puppet wise.

Be interested in your thoughts on the ongoing and current brouhaha regarding Russia. Some people in the world are very invested in the idea of doing to Syria what was previously done to Iraq and Libya, and they might have got away with it "if it hadn't been for those pesky Russians/Iranians".

So we had a media diet of "barrel bombs" (identical to the 4,000lb unfinned 'cookies' the RAF used to demolish German housefronts), the Ghouta "nerve gas attack", sad little seven year old girl bloggers, vast amounts of big-eyed-kid-in-dust snaps from the gallant White Helmets, who seem able to operate and get their footage out from headchopper-controlled zones with remarkable facility (and strangely they seem to have no counterparts taking similar snaps on the Government side, or in Yemen, or in formerly headchopper-controlled Mosul), and an unprecedented, gigantic media push of "we MUST do SOMETHING (like air strikes)" approaching Christmas 2015 as Aleppo looked like falling. So many of the good and great in that chorus, including Mrs Steven Kinnock (former Danish PM) at Save The Children.

And yet the Great Western Public, burned as they were (though not as badly as Iraqis and Libyans) by Iraq and Libya, just wouldn't buy it, despite the media campaign (which cost a fortune). The non-existent WMDs, the shambles post-"victory" in both countries, seem to have left a scar. Still, it's been a damn close run thing, the 2013 "nerve gas attack" nearly worked (no opaquely funded sinecure in NY for THAT Miliband!), and I did wonder if Obama and Cameron would crumble under the nonstop Aleppo barrage and send the planes in.

So, all that effort and no success, and the Ghouta enclave is being nibbled away even now. I hate to be cynical, but I can't forget the WMD, or that tearful nurse 20 years back telling us how Saddam's troops took all the incubators in Kuwait and left the babies to die on the floor. Could it be that some Deep State actors in the US and elsewhere are having a last big throw of the dice? After all, the UK can't do much against Russia militarily - but we have a big brother who can, and where (relatively) safer to do it than in a proxy war well outside the borders of Russia?

That doesn't make a lot of sense, but neither has our policy of stirring up civil war, then arming and training the wrong side. I can see one or two national interests that might be served by turning Syria and Iran into a shambles, but Britain's ain't one of them.

And a Russian hit on that chap doesn't make a lot of sense either. Cui bono?

Maybe something like the above is going through Corbyn's mind, too.

Swiss Bob said...

I liked Corbyn writing "Labour is of course no supporter of the Putin regime, its conservative authoritarianism, abuse of human rights or political and economic corruption" because it shows he needed to put in writing that he's actually not a fan of this particular totalitarian kleptocracy. After all it's hard to keep up which tyrants and terrorists he supports given Corbyn's numerous pro-Kremlin statements, his wish for defence cuts and a career spent supporting causes that loathe the West as much as Putin and his entourage, be it the IRA, Hezbollah, the crackpots in Venezuela or sharing a cuppa with Czechoslovak spies.

Anonymous said...

"his wish for defence cuts"

We must be fair, Swiss Bob. Under both Labour and Tory administrations our military power has declined. If Galtieri had felt able to wait a few more years he could have walked into the Falklands because Mrs Thatcher was decommissioning vessels as fast as anyone. Nowadays it feels almost shameful to see how few vessels there are in Portsmouth, we have carriers with no planes, we scrapped the Harriers.

I'm no Corbyn fan, but the Blairites aren't attacking him because he supported the IRA, they don't give a toss about that, or the British dead. They're attacking him because he supported Hamas.

And as for supporting terrorists, your taxes and mine have been going since 2011 (at least) to arm, train and finance the Syrian "opposition", as nasty a bunch as exists in the world. Did you write to your MP about it?

Electro-Kevin said...

Accept the Kremlin's denial but restore funding to our army and get fracking.

A strong and 'up yours' response to the Russians.

Anonymous said...

Spot on re The Guardian and comments: I post there occasionally, but it is indeed rendered difficult since (a) the most crass or outrageous pieces on which I want to comment frequently do not permit commenting, and as ND emphasises, commenting tends to be shut down rather quickly should there be too many of the wrong sort of comments, or if the Grauniad's censors suspect the latter might be on the way... Something that is quite striking about the responses one sees there is that notwithstanding its supposed position as the journal of choice for academics and the chattering classes, the level of literacy displayed by many readers is abysmal: they shriek kneejerk Lefty abuse in very poor English.
Re defence, Anon at 11.35pm has it right: the Tories are not to be trusted on defence, either. One of the most destructive hits against our defence capabilities (and defence industries) post-WW2 came in 1957 when Duncan Sandys' White Paper announced an end to several important projects: the Wilson government's subsequent cancellation of TSR-2 and the P-1154 was shocking but probably no worse. Re The Falklands, I think Galtieri & Co would have had a walkover if they'd postponed their assault by only a year or so, by which time our carrier capability would have gone.

CityUnslicker said...

Anon - Whilst I enjoy long and thoughtful comments, of which yours is one, making ludicrous fake-news style statements about there being no chemical weapons use in Syria is beyond the pale. You only had to watch the news to see it was true for those poor people, then idea that the whole world is controlled by these deep state actors is also borderline which you top up by ALWAYS assuming they are American rather than Chinese/Russian/Iranian is well past it.

Shame, because in amongst the conspiracy rant are some valid points mixed in which unfortunately lose their credibility.

Let's just be clear, there is an election in Russia; Putin has clearly done a good one of generating nationalist support for himself with a foreign adventure. The worse point is this note even the first time, there have been lots of murders on UK soil - this is just the one that has pushed it past the limit for the Government.

We cannot ever have a Government that would sit around and equivocate with the enemy whilst we are under direct attack.

Anonymous said...

"no chemical weapons use in Syria"

Never said that, CU. There's certainly been chlorine use, IIRC by both sides. As for nerve gas, the pictures on the news were most distressing, pictures from inside areas where no journalist goes for fear of death (current Ghouta reporting is from Lebanon/Turkey etc) and is provided by extremely nasty and ruthless people with an agenda.

When the agenda happens to coincide with the agenda of well-funded lobbies in the West and Middle East, damn right I'm sceptical. And only Ed Miliband prevented it from working. Assad must be nigh-on superhuman if he could have predicted that.

"Putin has clearly done a good one of generating nationalist support for himself with a foreign adventure."

Do you mean attempting to kill Skripal, or their Syrian successes? I know little of Russian public opinion - would attempting to kill a traitor really increase the electoral turnout? I'm not sure many extra votes would have been gained here by topping George Blake, though I doubt it would have lost many either.

No doubt Litvinenko was a Russian job and signalled as such. Even there polonium-210 isn't exactly something you can nick from the uni labs. This one? We've not even been told what it was (novichok covers a range of compounds and is known about in the west ever since the developer went to the West and wrote a detailed book). Why not? And don't get me started on "it was in the restaurant/pub/car door-handle/bunch of flowers/suitcase/gift".

It's all too easy. Just when "populism" is on the rise aka people voting "the wrong way", lo, we have an external enemy.

Just think, if the Russians invaded, thousands of our girls would be raped by foreigners. Must prevent that at all costs, what?

andrew said...

So the tl;dr is
In the guardian
Comment Is Free but some comment is more free than others

Thud said...

Way beyond me to fathom the thinking behind Putin and his merry crew but I'm ok with believing it was him mainly because of his response, as for corby.....the pricks will still vote for him cos you know...torys innit.

hovis said...

CU I am with Anon on this. Your tarring any sceptical comment as "conspiracy" is to use another of DJT’s phrases “weak”..

I do not see the Russians to be stupid or particularly more incompetent (or hyper competent) than anyone else.

Nor do I see any real benefit to them. In contrast the UK government has been ratcheting up lame cold war rhetoric for the last couple of years, this fits in with the desired direction of travel. I am noe seeing all the "Reds under the bed" hysteria in the press with hammer and sickles everywhere even though the USSR ceased to exist decades ago...

So in this strabge case what do we have?

- The non-assassination of a double agent (who had been swapped and had more than enough time to liquidate if they so chose.)

- Use (as I understand) of the more persistent form of the nerve agent in question – i.e. used for area denial rather than area clearance

- The nerve agent is deployed as a mix of two binary agents prior to delivery, which if done correctly would have seen Skripal dead already. So we either have incompetence or deliberate intent. You yourself are dismissing any questioning of the official narrative as a fantastical "conspiracy"; and yet you are asking us to believe the use of a precisely mixed nerve agent to ensure it maims rather than kills, and delivered to maim the target . This means those carrying out the attack must have hyper competence. A conspiracy stretching credulity itself – but as it is your preferred one you do not question. But hey I guess those Russians are eevillll geniuses aren't they?

...and all this to “send a message” and to get Putin re-elected or whatever - the message is very murky and certainly not very clear at all to most.
The official UK storyline is so kak handed that it If this were a spy novel you would throw it in the bin and be demanding your money back.

Ultimatums, refusal to abide by treaty obligations, and a spastic incompetence by a government that has the actions of immature 6th formers do not provide me with confidence in the official line at all.

hovis said...

on the Corbyn article:
"Only through firm multilateral action can we ensure such a shocking crime never happens again."

So the non assasination of a double agent is a "shocking crime" and "barbaric", but the systemic abuse, rape and murder of young children amd teenagers, while the police turn a blind eye is not and so doesnt warrent comment.

CityUnslicker said...


the counter to this is who did do it then? When police investigate murders they, you know, think of who the likely suspects are and who has the murder weapons etc.

I am not and wont get into the I read something on the internet and now I am a chemical weapons expert. Of course, there is a faint chance that another Russian actor has done this. But who else? MI6? Mossad?

The Russians are revelling in this, which helps show they don't care or deny it was the,. After all, their shock, having murdered so many already in this country with impunity, will be that we have reacted at all. Craig Murray types are already blaming Israel etc. This is nothing like the Iraq war, it is an attack on UK soil and it is not at all convenient for May to pick a fight with Russia in the middle of brexit when we have problems enough.

As for the reference to Telford, a case of massive whataboutery, this is not really a blog for commenting on such horrific crimes. Enough to say the imposition of leftist cultural relativism and common purpose ahs had truly horrible long-term consequences.

Anonymous said...

The Russia thing - all this false flag stuff is nothing new. The left have been trotting out how the Falklands was all a cunning plan by Thatcher, claiming she was doing everything but send a RSVP to invade the place, for years. Human stupidity is a gift that keeps on giving apparently.

As for what to do... Putin is sending a message, we should respond. As I've stated elsewhere, were a few members of his inner circle to have a sudden case of the dying, the TurkStream and Tesla projects to meet with some unfortunate - and expensive - accidents and some of London's wealthy Russians to suddenly find their property and wealth in the UK suddenly gone, I'm sure the message would be heard loud and clear by the right people.

It's not so much a case of bloodying Putin's nose, but getting vested interests to weigh up if Putin is more valuable to them alive or dead. After all, London has nice schools, nice bankers and courts more than willing to supply injunctions. Good living. Let the oligarchs see that Putin is risking all that and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

" Let the oligarchs see that Putin is risking all that and see what happens."

Russia 1997 is what happens. That's not a good thing. Putin, for good or ill, seems to be the best they have.

hovis said...

CU - you make my point exactly.

I am saying - was it the Russians? - I don't know. The evidence is murky and is not beyond reasonable doubt or balance of probability.

You on the other hand already know - so rather than being an instant chemical weapons expert from the internet, you merely became chief investigator and judge from the same source.

The Telford comment was a little more nuanced a that simple whatabboutery -
- the forces of the status quo have once again abjectly failed to either protect ot investigate properly because of a preferred narrative and rotten systemics.
- the amount of media attention given to preferred narrative vs harm done is interesting
- that one of the visible cheerleader for "cultural relativism" (the Tories are no better) trots these words must draw a wry smile.

dearieme said...

Poor old Corbyn. For the first time in his public life he makes a sensible comment - I'm taking him seriously but not literally - to the effect that it would be wise to avoid a rush to judgement. And then buckets of ordure are poured on him.

But the world of espionage is turtles all the way down, viewed through smoke and mirrors. Are we really asked to believe that it is unthinkable that during the years that Russia was an utter mess no Western intelligence service availed itself of some Russki toxins, and the recipes for making them, and even the chaps experienced in making them? They were remiss in their duties if they didn't.

Truth is, I don't know who dunnit and neither, in all likelihood, does Mrs May. But I do know who has been beating the wardrums against Russia for several years.

CityUnslicker said...

Interesting comments today indeed. An excellent article will be forthcoming at some point about what the hell do we do about judging news anymore when there is always an equal an opposite to be believed by the willingly credulous.

"beating the war drum against Russia" - the is the diametric opposite of what has observably happened.

We welcome the oligarchs (putin in the chief oligarch), their money, their occasional murdering of each other. We did fuck all about Crimea or Ukraine, did fuck all about Litvinenko. We do nothing about the incursions in our airspace. Nothing about their interventions and use of NBC weapons in Syria or even much about their trolling of elections in the West.

Of course they keep going with their wickedness, we are totally placatory to them - where is real evidence of this beating the war drum that would counter the narrative above?

Electro-Kevin said...

Anon @ 2.10 "Putin is sending a message, we should respond."

As earlier I propose passive aggressive.

- accept their denial and create a dodgy dossier (worked before) supporting it but...

- get fracking and stop buying their gas

- put loads of money back into our army

Instead thicko Head Girl May gets into a fight she can't win because it's going to be a dirty one.

Anonymous said...

If it was Russians, the question is "Which Russians ?"

Don Cox

Anonymous said...

The question is: "Which Russians?" The answer is: "the Russian FSB" (successor to the KGB, of which Putin was a proud member).

Skripal was a double agent, who exposed FSB activities in the West. He was arrested, admitted his guilt, sentenced to a term of imprisonment, but kept alive in order to be exchanged for Russian spies imprisoned in the West, a procedure which duly happened.

After his release, instead of retiring to write his memoirs, he continued to meet his handler, and to give briefings and "background assessments" to MI6. He even went to visit the Russian Embassy in London from time -- whether in the spirit of looking up old spy-chums and re-fighting old battles, or simply because most of his family were still in Russia and he wanted to keep in touch.

This would clearly be infuriating to the FSB spy-chiefs, and indeed to Putin himself. Skripal's son died in mysterious circumstances in Russia, as did his brother. Finally, it was decided to eliminate Skrypal himself, and his daughter while they were at it.

The FSB had the motive, the means, and the opportunity. They have carried out similar operations before, including in Britain. The assassinations this time have been only partially successful thus far, because the method used seem to have been somewhat diffuse.

There is no need for fatuous conspiracy theories, or for the kind of weaseling one would expect from Corbyn and the Guardian. Although there are still some aspects to be cleared up, the overall case is clear, indeed obvious enough.

I trust that this answers your question, Fellow Anonymous ?