Search Donate

Show results for
  • News
  • Videos
  • Action Alerts
  • Events
  • Resources
  • MEND

The truth about a liar

The truth about a liar

Categories: Latest News

Sunday January 24 2016

The truth about a liar

To an observer with even the slightest knowledge of psychology,

Gilligan appears obsessed to the point of the ridiculous.”

(Guy Debord’s cat)

Andrew Gilligan – his Character, based on facts.

Andrew Gilligan has made a profession out of willful misrepresentation, hounding innocent people, supporting homophobes and those using racist language and, in general, producing shoddy journalism motivated by an animus toward British Muslims and political foes. His work has been widely disparaged for its fabrications and hypocrisy. An overview of his sneering approach to his subjects, punctuated by willful lies, can be gleaned from this brief ‘Hall of Shame’:

  • Inconsistent evidence in Hutton Inquiry – This Inquiry concluded that Gilligan’s reports contained “unfounded allegations” of a serious nature which could not be substantiated but which were broadcast on the BBC’s flagship Today programme regardless of the consequences. The greatest casualty of his lies was Dr David Kelly, who committed suicide in 2003. Gilligan left his job at the BBC in disgrace following the publication of the Hutton Inquiry report which heavily criticised his journalism and conduct in relation to the ‘dodgy dossier’ story.
  • BBC criticize Gilligan for ‘lack of judgement and loose language’ – BBC denounced his “loose use of language and lack of judgment in some of his phraseology” in emails from his BBC bosses revealed in the course of the Hutton Inquiry
  • Dr David Kelly’s suicide – Gilligan is held widely responsible for driving Dr David Kelly to his suicide after leaking his name in the Press. Dr David’s son famously called Gilligan a ‘RAT’.
  • Defender of racist language and homophobes – Gilligan was an instrumental part of Boris Johnson’s victory in the London Mayoral elections against Ken Livingstone in 2008 and 2012 when he was employed at the Evening Standard and later, the Telegraph. This despite Johnson having a history of uttering racist or derogatory words in relation to minorities. For example, in 2000, Boris Johnson said, “We don’t want our children being taught some rubbish about homosexual marriage being the same as normal marriage, and that is why I am more than happy to support Section 28”.

Following a visit by then British PM, Tony Blair, to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Johnson let loose this missive in a column in the Daily Telegraph referring to “flag-waving piccaninnies” and saying, “No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and the tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird.”

Johnson apologised for the comment but in 2003, used the same phrase when on a visit to Uganda, when he remarked “Right, let’s go and look at some more piccaninnies”.

In relation to Muslims, Johnson himself has reserved particular ire towards Islam calling it ,“The most viciously sectarian of all religions in its heartlessness towards unbelievers.”

No self respecting journalist would ever proffer excuses for such xenophobic and racist language but instead of objectively commenting on Johnson’s suitability for public office in one of the most diverse cities in the UK, Gilligan runs to his rescue by stating the most inadequate explanation ever heard to excuse homophobia and racism. Gilligan stated:

“One of the things that’s happened with Boris, is he’s quite clearly come to understand a little bit more. You see, the things he said about black people were not because he’s a racist I fundamentally do not believe him to be a racist. It was probably because just he did not really understand what London was like. Now, over the past nine months or so, he’s been round, and actually you can see his, erm … you can see his, his, er … his understanding growing.”

The explanation is as trite as it is unconvincing given that Johnson served as an MP for some years before standing for the Mayor of London and for anyone in public office to hold such views about minorities is inexcusable. While Gilligan extends apology and sympathy for his political allies, with “Islamists” his approach is unrepentant when revisiting their use of xenophobic language.

Gilligan is content on drawing extremely tenuous and loose links to demonise others when it suits him however when the facts about homophobia and racism among his allies hit him square in the face, he goes out of his way to defend them for personal profit.

  • The ‘Islamist regime’s ‘£5,000 a week’ mouthpiece – Gilligan has embraced a perverse McCarthyite obsession in outing “Islamists” but himself has worked for such media organs as Press TV – the propaganda arm of the Islamic Republic of Iran. When he himself was outed in July 2009, he refused to disclose the money made from his involvement and it took a further 6 months before he stepped down from the role in December 2009 – what could possibly explain his hypocrisy other than greed? George Galloway has unequivocally stated that Andrew Gilligan was earning £5,000 a week from Press TV and can prove it.
  • MPs deeply critical of Gilligan’s smears – Smearing Muslim organisations and individuals engaged in politics and public life is something of a hobby horse for Gilligan and he mounts it frequently for the purpose of mudslinging and defamation. He abuses his position at national newspaper to vilify opponents knowing full well that they cannot retaliate in kind. The abuse of power in this manner has not gone unnoticed as Stephen Timms MP complained in the Huffington Post. One can only ask whose interests he is serving with his smear campaigns?
  • Lying about Islamophobia – Gilligan has repeatedly belittled and lied about the incidence of Islamophobia in the UK misreporting statistics to suggest that Islamophobia has a lower level of occurrence than other forms of hate crime. It is not clear why Gilligan is determined to make Islamophobia out to be a low level crime concern but his wilful lying about its scale is a wider indication of his disdain for attacks on British Muslims.
  • Fake online personas – Gilligan when not lying about his subjects has resorted to such devious tactics as “sockpuppetry”, creating fake online personas to disseminate material attacking opponents. The New York Times describes sockpuppeting as “the act of creating a fake online identity to praise, defend or create the illusion of support for one’s self, allies or company”. Sounds about right with Gilligan. The link above explores how Gilligan created a fake online identity as one means of supporting Boris Johnson’s bid to become the Mayor of London. Gilligan has since profited from a cycling commissioner role under Boris.
  • Master of misleading quotes – Selective quotation is a sustained feature of Gilligan’s ‘journalism’ with the prolific use of selective quotations intended to distort and misrepresent the views of others. The above link from Liberal Conspiracy highlights some of his shenanigans. He’s been rumbled a number of times but shows no sign of desisting from the despicable practice of deliberately misrepresenting others throwing the burden of accuracy on the subjects of his sloppy journalism rather than on himself as a journalist compelled to check the fact and, as the Ipso Code of Practice puts it: “take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information”.
  • Schizophrenic Gilligan – Gilligan’s integrity as a journalist is open to question when he openly castigates individuals only to later place them on a pedestal to serve his own interests. The example of his schizophrenic attitude to Fiyal Mughal of Faith Matters, is a case in point. Mughal has been described by Gilligan as a “senior Muslim leader” even though Gilligan previously attacked Mughal’s organisation prompting a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission and two lengthy rebuttals critiquing Gilligan. One minute Mughal is a charlatan, the next he is a senior leader. How does Gilligan square these inconsistencies? He doesn’t, he just works off personal interest.
  • Hypocrisy and profiteering from hate – Gilligan’s usefulness to political allies has certainly been a lucrative business netting considerable gains. His sustained attack against the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone which cost him mayoralty and saw his opponent, Boris Johnson, elected to office has not gone unrewarded. Johnson handed Gilligan the post of Cycling Commissioner for London prompting outrage over cronyism, as featured in The Guardian. More recently, Gilligan’s hypocrisy has been exposed by an FOI seeking information on “golden goodbyes” to be paid to Johnson’s staff when he leaves office next year. Gilligan, who attacked Livingstone on the same issue of payments made to the mayor’s then aides, is in line for a payment too exposing his self-serving hypocrisy.
  • Refuses to apply standards demanded of others to himself – Gilligan goes to great lengths to posit allegations of intolerance and hate speech by Muslims but has never taken a closer look in his own backyard when it comes to investigating hate speech and intolerance towards Muslims. Gilligan regularly takes Muslims to task, such as diatribes against Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad, Shaykh Abu Eesa and Shaykh Yasir Qadhi, among others, but never has Gilligan sought to investigate the hate speech of staff at the neocon, right-wing, Henry Jackson Society, such as Douglas Murray or Robin Shepherd, or their right wing allies who fuel the Islamophobia industry in the US and UK despite the Daily Telegraph giving prominent coverage to reports by the Henry Jackson Society and its subsidiary, Student Rights. Moreover, the quality of research in reports the HJS and Student Rights have produced in relation of “extremism on campus” has been widely discredited. So why the double standards?

Gilligan the ‘investigative journalist’

There are perhaps few journalists who can continue to practice in the profession after being forced to resign for making “unfounded” allegations in their ‘investigative’ pieces and for using “sockpuppet” techniques to undermine political foes but Andrew Gilligan is a rare, but not yet extinct, breed of ‘journalist’.

A man who has taken money (undisclosed, since he won’t say how much he’s received) from an ‘Islamist’ government while spending much of his time writing about ‘Islamists’ infiltrating Parliament, the GLA, Tower Hamlets Council etc is surely not to be trusted as to reliability or integrity.

Gilligan famously resigned from the BBC over his calamitous claims around the ‘dodgy dossier’ with his performance as a journalist come in for severe criticism by the Hutton Inquiry.

Gilligan’s bosses at the BBC denounced his “loose use of language and lack of judgment in some of his phraseology” while Lord Hutton himself singled out Gilligan’s inconsistent evidence and “lack of support in the notes for the most serious of the allegations”.

Putting 2 and 2 together to make 5 appears to be something of a work pattern for Gilligan.

Some of the ‘investigations’ Gilligan has been allowed to front for the Telegraph and which have proven to be inaccurate, storms in a teacup or worse, plain false include;

  • The Trojan horse plot that wasn’t (the Education select committee in a report into the so-called ‘plot’ concluded “We note once again that no evidence of extremism or radicalisation, apart from a single isolated incident, was found and that there is no evidence of a sustained plot nor of a similar situation pertaining elsewhere in the country.” Gilligan write scores of articles on the subject as if it was gospel truth.
  • The libelous claims against British Muslim charity Muslim Aid (which you can’t find on the Telegraph website anymore if that’s some indication of just how robust his evidence-gathering is)
  • The clear obsession with Ken Livingstone and ‘Islamists’, and his new hobby horse, rubbishing Islamophobia, to name but a few.
  • And then there’s the business of screaming “whitewash” when his scurrilous witch-hunts are exposed for what they are (a trait he shares with another thesis-driven ‘journalist’).

It is telling that Gilligan, who makes prolific use of the term ‘Islamist’ can’t define it. Perhaps his feelers at the neo-con sites he sources material from (and who, in order to legitimise their own ‘Islamist’ bashing credentials cross post ad nauseum) have yet to apprise their little troll just what this week’s definition of ‘Islamist’ reads like.

Gilligan has already shown his poor judgment and lack of journalistic integrity by engaging in sockpuppetry to give the illusion of support for stances he favours for private gain. His vendetta against Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London, seems to have paid off handsomely with Livingstone’s successor awarding him the post of Cycling Commissioner for London.

One can only assume that the Telegraph is scraping the barrel in its recruitment policy. Just how incompetent must a journalist be before the Telegraph will dispense with his services?

There’s a great summary of Gilligan’s devious techniques to besmirch foes here and here where bloggers expose Gilligan’s “sockpuppetry” and shoddy journalism to spin lies. Suffice to say, there is nothing the man won’t sink to, to serve his own interests, including lying and hypocrisy.

MP Stephen Timms has also contributed his own thoughts about Gilligan’s attacks on Muslims engaged in politics and public life.

We could go on at some length about Gilligan’s character, or lack thereof, and the disdain with which more objective critics view him but the paragraphs above and associated hyperlinks should be enough to convince any neutral observer about Gilligan’s history of being untrustworthy, unprofessional and biased in his approach to British Muslims. He is a habitual liar who demonises others for his own political and financial gain.

Download PDF

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter

Get all the latest news from MEND straight to your inbox. Sign up to our email newsletter for regular updates and events information