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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  • N_

    Peter Jaconelli looks like a distraction to me. They want to keep the spotlight away from social elite circles (the traditional English elite, the Tory leadership, the royal family) and the institutions of the state (Whitehall, local councils, Parliament, the Anglican church hierarchy, etc.) or that are licenced by the state (care homes etc.)

  • fedup

    resident myopic has not read or found any links to bunga bunga parties

    The risible myopic “contribution” as ever is shuddy slanted and totally irrelevant. But hey the villains are mentioned just once more time!

  • John Spencer-Davis

    07/08/2015 11:14pm

    I attended a grammar school, and there were some pretty rum goings-on there, but they were the exception rather than the rule. I imagine that private boarding schools are, or were, probably much worse, simply because of greater opportunity.

    Kind regards,


  • Paul Levy

    Thank you, Mr. N., for disseminating my recent article in the Telegraph. It’s a workmanlike piece, if I do say so myself! But frankly a lot of the credit goes to the Telegraph editors. They found the gem in the rough diamond of my first draft:

    “Given what I know and saw, Heath probably did burst the tender ruby orb of many a prepubescent orphan. Anybody who can recall that time will remember that there were plenty of MPs furiously manipulating the diminutive hairless members of institutionalized children. More than a few cabinet ministers, humping frightened tykes like so many Staffordshire terrier pups, CIA cameras running all the while. They had a much easier time of it than the Closet Queens.”

    The final version really focuses the piece, doesn’t it? Gay. Much more concise.

  • BrianFujisan

    Anyhoo…. Had great day out with my best pal ed… we to went Luss And as Nevermind Educated me.. i told him of how the writing tells time.. most impessed.. He is the dude behind Samurai sunset music..where i use Live Katana and got defeated By Midges ..

    Next thing we Know Drones are passing our Nostrils…ok say 15 feet high.. Shit, the power of them things, n Manouvers.. 0 to 60 in about 2 seconds…Who was it said – ” most regulars on here ( craigs Blog) are identified Long Ago – Dreo i think

    I felt very Angry cos a group of Tourists were looking directly at me….Desert Scarf on Head….( my Ears miss a lot my eyes Don’t ) i thought my Palestine wrist band caught their attention Too… On MY Lomond Shores… Funny how they look away when Stared back at….Keep walking… But i stared after them in Anger.. Martial Arts Experts should not think Retaliation Violence….

  • Resident Dissident

    As always the ad hominem from Fedup points out yet again that I am on the right track.

  • Mary

    Short but beautiful as you say Brian. Thank you.

    I will look at the taxi driver one later. He always gets it right.

  • fedup

    As always the ad hominem from Fedup points out yet again that I am on the right track.

    Keep looking in the mirror and talking to yourself resident corporate conformist. It would take a miracle for a seed of original thought (this itself would be a first) to ever strike you.

    PS your brainfarts deserve all the praise I heap upon you!
    PPS Keep following the track lets hope you will find a way out of the “maze” of this blog that you are apparently a dissident of !!!!!!!

  • N_

    @John Levy – Ah, sarcasm mode. The highest form of intelligence right? Ha!

    As I am sure you well know, the most read parts of a newspaper article are the headline and the picture caption.

    Heath’s not in the news for being gay. When you wrote about the “shocking” allegations against him, that’s not what you meant.

    In your comment here, in which you laugh at the rape of children while relishing describing it as if there were poetry in it, you show that you consider it to be one of the tastes that some elite members may have, and you seem to believe that it’s self-evidently not anyone else’s place to criticise.

    That was the view in the elite in the 1970s and it’s still the view in the 2010s. Except nowadays the trendy-lefty busybodies and jobsworth bureaucrats can stick their noses in, so let’s get thicker blackout curtains. And if necessary, some of us may need to tell one or two of our chaps to show more discretion. Oh and Heath went to grammar school anyway – he probably couldn’t even spell “discretion”.

    Don’t think I haven’t studied the enemy.

    Panic is growing.

  • N_

    Oops – I got my wire crossed there. Both the article and the comment here were signed “Paul Levy”. I seem to have conjured “John Levy” out of thin air. Apologies.

    So we may be talking about that dissolute-looking “foodie” who puts three photos of himself on the landing page at his website, but forgot to avoid scowling.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Paul Levy
    08/08/2015 2:48am
    08/08/2015 10:11am

    I assumed this comment purporting to be by Paul Levy was a spoof written by somebody very sick.

    If it’s by the real Paul Levy, perhaps he would like to identify himself unequivocally, I would be delighted if he would do that.


  • nevermind

    Brian keep away from blades, you have all the skills you need to fell trees…..;)
    thanks for the nuclear news, it seems to have pulled our resident socket out of his feathers…..

    You wrote earlier,

    ‘to harness the almost limitless power of the atom.’ I shall quibble the words ‘almost limitless’, the greatest fable amplified many times. Mined Uranium is not that abundant, we have no more than 50 years of supplies left globally according to current estimates, it is as unsustainable as our emission targets are.

    You can’t use MSR technology if you haven’t got any up and running and by modern standards of benign power generators we don’t need nuclear at all.

    But the bomb makers and their apologists, like the gnat on top of this page, will always press for more insecurity more stress and more destruction. They should be prosecuted/or fined for every kiloton of destructive arms they produce, conventional or else, to balance out the suffering they cause, or be shut down.

  • Giyane

    “President Erdoğan has set up a secret hospital on Turkish territory at Şanlıurfa, outside of the combat zones, to look after wounded Daesh jihadists.

    Apart from that, according to the spokesman for the CHP (Socialist party), Gürsel Tekin, the crude oil stolen by Daesh is now being exported by BMZ Ltd, the maritime company of Bilal Erdoğan, the son of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in violation of resolution 2170 of the United Nations Security Council”


  • Mary

    How sick. Remember the four young footballers slaughtered on the beach in Gaza last year?

    “Tel Aviv beach” in Paris sparks outrage a year after Gaza slaughter
    7 August 2015

    ‘Palestine solidarity activists in France are expressing outrage that a “Tel Aviv beach” is being created in Paris to promote Israel.

    For a few hours on 13 August, a section of river bank in the French capital near the Pont d’Arcole, will be turned into “Tel Aviv sur Seine” (Tel Aviv on the Seine), complete with falafel stands and “Israeli nightlife.”

    According to Coolisraël, a website that markets Israel to a French-speaking audience, the propaganda event is a joint project of the Paris and Tel Aviv municipal governments.’

  • Mary

    Anyone with the Times paywall to complete this letter and the original comment from Aaronovitch?

    Corbyn’s silence
    August 8 2015

    Sir, David Aaronovitch writes that in 1987 Jeremy Corbyn took part in a minute’s silence for the eight IRA men and one civilian killed by the British army in an ambush at Loughgall (Opinion, August 6). He describes Corbyn’s action as an “utterly mistaken” and irrelevant “peace gesture” — “irrelevant” because it was the Loughgall ambush that “convinced the Provisional IRA that it could not force Britain out of Northern Ireland by military means”.

    The silence was largely a protest against the shoot to kill policy alleged to have been carried out against Republican targets by British troops…….


  • Mary

    I assume the response was to this attack on Corbyn.

    JC is the last person you’d want to lead Labour
    David Aaronovitch
    August 6 2015

    The kind of state socialism at the heart of Jeremy Corbyn’s beliefs has had catastrophic consequences worldwide

    Dear young Corbynista,

    I know you won’t be reading this online since you don’t want to give any money to Rupert Murdoch. But there’s just a chance of you seeing The Times in your local library (if the Tory cuts have left any standing) or of reading a copy left on the bus. And if so this column is addressed to you……

  • Mark Golding

    Do you remember the SAS involvement in Iraq that was discovered on the 30th of January 2005?

    Two British operatives disguised by wigs and Arab dress were arrested by Basra police after shooting two Iraqi policemen and later freed by a British military operation.

    On the phony pretext of fighting IS at least two disguised SBS personnel supported by encrypted communications are operating in Syria with instructions to destroy Syrian Arab Army command & control units, murder their commanders and force desertion of junior officers.

    It is believed other British special forces are using handheld laser designators to provide targeting for US laser-guided bombs, missiles, or precision artillery ammunitions.

    Some indirect confirmation for these operations is provided by Stephen Lendman and other sources in Syria.


  • N_

    @Suhayl – Thanks for that link. Some points…

    1) Heath’s navigator David Arnold would say that, wouldn’t he? (Well done to anyone aged under 30 who gets the reference.) If abuse did occur, Arnold would have known about it. Let’s bear that in mind.

    2) According to Arnold, Heath lost his Special Branch bodyguards whenever he got on the yacht. Please remember that Heath was Prime Minister at the time of the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry in Northern Ireland.

    3) Arnold says the yacht would visit Jersey each year on the way back from a yacht race from Cowes to Dinard. Cowes. Isle of Wight.

    4) You would have thought a decent journalist would have asked Arnold the straightforward question: “Did you ever see any children on the boat?” Then he could say yes or no. But to judge by that article, he doesn’t seem to have been asked and it’s not something he wanted to say either.

  • Republicofscotland

    Scotland should not be given more powers over welfare, taxes and spending, because of its history as a “relatively reactionary country”, according to Scottish Labour leadership hopeful Ken Macintosh.

    I think you’ll find Ken that it’s Westminster that’s “reactionary” just ask the people of Iraq.

    No wonder the London Labour branch in Scotland got thrashed in recent local elections.


  • Suhayl Saadi

    Thanks, N_. I see also that that it has been alleged that Heath was on Barbara Castle’s list when all those years ago, she was trying to get an investigation going into an alleged paedophile ring at Westminster. It’s a pity she’s also no longer around – both in general and specifically with regards to these allegations.

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