Aaronovitch Blusters to a Well of Silence 1213

Why Rupert Murdoch considers it worth his while to pay David Aaronovitch a large six figure sum for such puerile antics as tweeting that I am insane, is a conjecture I find difficult to resolve. Today this exchange occurred on twitter:

David Aaronovitch: This suggestion that if elected Corbyn could be quickly ousted is utter bollocks. Democracy allows Labour to commit Hara Kiri.

Mark Doran: @DAaronovitch I hope everyone is watching how these servants of the micro-elite try to paint “attracting popular support” as “committing suicide.”

Mark Doran: @DAaronovitch Craig finds the elite-serving contortions every bit as funny as I do

David Aaronovitch: @MarkJDoran I tend to find Craig Murray unpersuasive on the grounds of him being unhinged. I can see why you like him, though.

Mark Doran: Says the man who managed to find Bush and Blair credible. I can see why you liked them, though.

It is remarkably ironic that on being referred to an article which argues that views outside a very narrow neoliberal establishment narrative are marginalised and ridiculed by the media, the Murdoch hack’s response is that the author is unhinged. Aaronovitch could not have more neatly proved my point.

But something else struck me about the twitter record. Aaronovitch’ twitter account claims to have 78,000 followers. Yet of the 78,000 people who allegedly received his tweet about my insanity, only 1 retweeted and 2 favourited. That is an astonishingly low proportion – 1 in 26,000 reacted. To give context, Mark Doran has only 582 followers and yet had more retweets and favourites for his riposte. 1 in 146 to be precise, a 200 times greater response rate.

Please keep reading, I promise you this gets a great deal less boring.

Eighteen months ago I wrote an article about Aaronovitch’s confession that he solicits fake reviews of his books to boost their score on Amazon. In response a reader emailed me with an analysis of Aaronovitch’s twitter followers. He argued with the aid of graphs that the way they accrued indicated that they were not arising naturally, but being purchased in blocks. He claimed this was common practice in the Murdoch organisation to promote their hacks through false apparent popularity.

I studied his graphs at some length, and engaged in email correspondence on them. I concluded that the evidence was not absolutely conclusive, and in fairness to Aaronovitch I declined to publish, to the annoyance of my correspondent.

Naturally this came to mind again today when I noted that Aaronovitch’ tweets to his alleged legion of followers in fact tumble into a well of silence. I do not even tweet. The entire limit of my tweeting is that this blog automatically tweets the titles of articles I write. They are not aphorisms so not geared to retweet. Yet even the simple tweet “Going Mainstream” which marked the article Aaronovitch derided, obtained 20 times the reactions of Aaronovitch’s snappy denunciation of my mental health. This despite the fact he has apparently 10 times more followers than me. An initial survey seems to show this is not atypical.

In logic, I can only see two possible explanations. The first is that my correspondent was right and Aaronovitch fakes twitter followers like he does book reviews. The second is that he has a vast army of followers, nearly all of whom find him dull and uninspiring, and who heartily disapproved en masse of his slur on my sanity. I opt for the second explanation, that he is just extremely dull, on the grounds that Mr Aaronovitch’s honesty and probity were never questioned, m’Lud.

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1,213 thoughts on “Aaronovitch Blusters to a Well of Silence

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  • John Goss

    Some do it because they believe what they write. They are not always right. Others do it because the money’s good, and to hell with the content. That is why the concatenation ‘presstitute’ was established to good effect. For every decent unbedded journalist there are a thousand Aaronovitches.

  • PJM

    It would not be surprising if a piss poor Murdoch hack as part of a big organisation automatically has a large number of Twitter ‘followers’ stuck on to their account for the sake of giving an impression of an audience.

  • J. R. Tomlin

    I must admit although I re-tweeted the link to your post, I’m not sure that a hack (presstitute is actually a better term) deserves the attention.

  • craig Post author

    J R Tomlin, doubtless you are right. I do not intend however to allow low-life to insult me with impunity! Many thanks for the retweet.

  • Simon MacKenzie

    Well, to be fair, in this case the tweet was a direct reply to another account, so would only have been seen by people who follow both him and the other guy, far as I can tell. No idea in a more general sense as I blocked the man years ago!

  • glenn

    Another possibility is that Aaronovitch is so susceptible to flattery, and so gullible, he doesn’t realise that his “followers” have been purchased on his behalf.

  • Ken Bell

    A useless bit of information for you:

    I’m a Mancunian and back in 1975 just about the whole city wanted to deep fry Aaronovitch’s goolies, along with those of the other three jokers who so embarrassed our city.

    He was part of the University of Manchester team on University Challenge, and for some puerile reason they gave idiotic answers to all the questions. It was a protest over something or other, but the outrage in the city was pretty palpable and more than one student ended up eating a knuckle sandwich because of this dipstick and his mates. The bugger boasts about it to this day.

    Given that he was in the CPGB back then, you can understand Orwell’s point in The Road to Wigan Pier that socialists are a poor advert for socialism in working class eyes.

  • Jives

    Lets be absoluteoy clear here:

    Aaronovitch is a lickspittle NeoCon toady who’ll write anything for money via brown envelopes.

    Yer original mediawhore,as it were.

    Thought pretty much everyone sussed this years ago???

  • Heroes of Singapore

    Aaronovitch is worth his weight in gold. He’s a windsock. His Mommy and Daddy puffed Marxism into him and he pointed that way. Then New Labor puffed jingoism into him and he pointed that way. Then Rupert’s cadaver puffed corruption into him and he pointed that way. You don’t even have to blackmail him to get him to pull facile slogans out his arse. He’ll even do formulaic anti-‘conspiracy’ hackwork for you. He washed out of Oxford for good reason. Having failed in earnest, he embraced wilful failure as protest in Manchester and thereafter.

    There aren’t many people who combine nugatory integrity and feckless habits of mind with the energy of obsessive animus. Scalia comes to mind in the US. Aaronovitch will go far in the degenerate, disintegrating pismire of modern Lesser Britain.

  • John Goss

    Daniel at 3:12 am thanks for the link.

    It is good to rise in a morning like the larks we never see round here and read a blog page of comments where consensus runs amicably through the comments in general agreement with the post. An absence of certain individuals from the comments page may account for this. No defence of the man Aaronovitch. It is a wonder he hasn’t created an account to defend himself. Bring on the clowns!

  • N_

    The Amazon story illustrates how ‘social media’ is first and foremost about advertising.

    We also have David Aaronovitch, author of a ridiculous and obviously dishonest tome meant to discourage critical thinking about what really goes on in the world – and vile propagandist for Zionism too, a project that soaks itself in the blood of innocents – admitting he’s a greedy moneygrabbing fraudulent liar with contempt for all of his potential readers, but with pound signs in his eyes when they might put their hands in their pockets. And then denying it.

    Surprise, surprise! Who’d have thought it about the author of a book like that?

    ‘People’ like him haven’t got any morals or integrity. We don’t need graphs to prove that.

    Talking about this creep helps him. He’ll have a grin on his face when he reads this. You’re only preaching to the converted where ‘exposing’ him is concerned.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    David Aaronovitch = David Brent of ‘The Office’. You never see the two at the same time.

  • Mary

    Britain’s Labour Party: Elect Jeremy Corbyn as Leader and Win the Next Election
    by Adnan Al-Daini / July 28th, 2015

    What is it with Britain’s Labour Party? There is a surge in party membership, and this is a worry for the men in suits in the Westminster bubble! Why? People, particularly the young, are energized by the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn becoming its leader. Here is a man of principle who believes in what he says, not encumbered by spin and focus groups that have been the obsession of the Labour Party for so long.

    It has lacked courage, continuously looking over its shoulder afraid of what the press might say, or whether this or that is a Tory trick to paint it with a certain brush. The vote on the welfare bill is a case in point. Jeremy Corbyn voted against it on the principle that reducing the deficit by making the poor poorer is wrong; all the other contenders abstained.

    Jeremy Corbyn’s candidature for leader is good news for Labour; it should be a source of delight, not gloom. The Labour Party establishment, however, believes Jeremy Corbyn is a liability rather than an asset. Have they stopped for a minute to think that they may be wrong and Labour’s grass roots are right?

    Consider this. If he is so bad for Labour, why is it that the Tory supporting press is doing everything they can to discredit him? They are running scared, because they know that as leader he will be able to expose the neoliberal economic model of cuts and austerity for what it is, a con to transfer wealth from the poor and disadvantaged to the already bloated 1%ers.


  • Fc

    A quick analysis of @DAaronovitch’s followers, via fakers.statuspeople.com, would suggest that only 46% of his followers are active, whilst 31% are inactive, and 23% are fake.

  • Mary

    Yet people pay to sit and listen to his tripe and the state broadcaster employs him.

    eg Three appearances at the Hay Festival in May.

    Frequently on the BBC airwaves – The Moral Maze, Any Questions and Question Time for example.

  • Mary

    Harperson is weeding out the Corbyn voters.

    From Medialens

    Harriet Harman: we are weeding out bogus Labour leadership voters
    Posted by zemblan on July 28, 2015, 8:56 am

    ‘Harriet Harman, the interim Labour leader, has defended the integrity of her party’s leadership election system amid claims it has been infiltrated by hard left extremists as well as Conservatives out to discredit the process.

    She said “rigorous due diligence” was being undertaken by Labour staff, and the new electoral system introduced in 2014 was less open to manipulation than its predecessor, which freely allowed opponents of Labour to vote without any checks.

    She also disclosed a new email was being sent to local branches setting out how they could check whether bogus applicants were trying to join the party as registered supporters.’


  • Ba'al Zevul

    Good piece by Oborne:


    Aaronovitch is Finkelstein’s tapeworm:


    Back to Craig’s piece: I’m having a little difficulty finding recent readership figures for the Times (paywall): the latest NRS figure for all readers is around 1.1M. In 2012, it was higher, with 1.7M (Sunday Times (paywall) included), and a web readership of 52,000. It’s gone down steadliy since. Due to the paywall.


    Question: Assuming every single Times (paywall) reader on the Web follows the bugger, where do the other 16,000 Aaronovitch followers come from, given that the Times (paywall) is his primary platform?

  • Peter Beswick

    For his history on voodoo Aaronovitch borrowed Occam’s Razor, well and truly blunted it then discarded or returned it as there is no evidence that he has attempted to misuse intellectual reasoning since. He used assumptions to debunk assumptions, claimed he used less assumptions than the others so he must be right and they must be wrong.

    Aaronovitch has a history of mistreating useful implements, his wanton abuse of strawmen is only compounded by his fallarious pride in his abilities to ridicule the tin foil hat brigade.

    But “unhinged” isn’t that bad, it evokes a stand-alone individual, one not attached to fixed structures, a tutelary of ethics.

    Aaronovitch is none of those things and presumably considers himself “hinged”, a member flapping in the wind.

    I must say the advice not to give the buffoon oxygen was correct but since you have Craig I think you can assume the man was attempting to be hurtful in his own inimitable degenerate form of intellectual parsimony.

    So I think on this occasion its fair to return the abuse.

    Correction: Aaronvich is not a flapping member he is a c**t! (very few assumptions there)

  • Mark Golding

    My son Kieron has proposed playing ear-splitting music from a convertible, parking overflowing skips and organising barging joggers outside the Aaronovitch home in North London.

    Kieron is of course ‘a little devil’…

  • nevermind

    ‘the Murdoch hack’s response is that the author is unhinged. Aaronovitch could not have more neatly proved my point.’

    Turning on people’s sexuality and questioning their sanity? that man is a question mark to himself

    hey David ‘your so MImarket.com’

    Thanks for making me smile, heroes of Singapore, he’s such a shower, he does not even realise he’s pissing on his shoes.

  • N_

    So what exactly do Labour Party branches have to do to exercise “due diligence” and identify any “bogus applicants”?

    And what kind of party allows people who’ve joined after a leader resigns to get a vote on who’ll be the new leader? Did they do that by accident?

    Pluralist multi-party democracy is a sham. They’re all controlled by the same people.

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