A few hours ago, I received this tip-off from Political Betting stalwart Tim -
"I see a couple of the Sarah Brown baiters/Tears for Piers merchants have taken to abusing you on the twittersphere"
Well, obviously this piqued my interest, but the trouble is that with a common name like 'James Kelly' it's difficult to track down any mentions of me using the search function. However, it soon dawned on me that it was more a question of checking the Twitter pages of one or two of the usual suspects, and in the end it took all of thirty seconds to find the exchange in question. No prizes for guessing who it was...
Jason Manc : Could we deep fry James Kelly and feed him to Alex Salmond?
Plato : LOL a mere snack I suspect.
Fitalass : Blimey, I see that you are becoming a regular feature on someone's blog. Creepy.
Plato : I'm sure its fascinating - I blocked someone on Twitter...
Fitalass : Oh, were you being followed by him or someone else?
Plato : Whoever it was sent me a link to a certain blog - I just blocked them immediately - worthy of a certain Mr Ireland.
Fitalass : That is just creepy. Have you suddenly got any other followers tweeting out odd or dodgy links & stuff?
Plato : I get several a day that I assume are spam accounts trying to flog stuff - I never look at them either so pointless!
Now, it has to be said this exchange is rather amusing on a number of counts -
1) Plato may think she's blocked me on Twitter but as far as I can see she hasn't. This follows the familiar pattern of her repeatedly claiming to "put me on ignore" at PB, but mysteriously still being aware of everything I post.
2) Even if she had blocked me it wouldn't have made any difference, because I wasn't one of her followers and - for obvious reasons - had no plans to become one. (And unlike Facebook, you can still see the tweets of people who have blocked you, so the chances are I would have remained completely oblivious to it.)
3) The "link I sent to Plato" (which Fitalass, aka 'ChristinaD', bizarrely tries to lump in with automated internet marketing spam!) was of course no such thing - I simply followed the normal practice of referencing Plato's username in a tweet that was about her, and which happened to have a link to a blog-post at the end.
4) It's somewhat curious that Plato disdainfully claims (ie. "I'm sure it's fascinating") not to have followed the link, because by that point she had already discussed its contents with me on more than one occasion!
5) As I understand it, part of the ever-shifting basis for Fitalass and Plato's charge that I am some kind of "creepy, weird stalker" is that I have discussed them on a public forum (ie. here) without their express permission. Indeed, just the other night, Fitalass claimed with characteristic melodrama that the fact I had done so had "genuinely made her feel physically sick". Clearly the penny has yet to drop for both women that discussing views that have been expressed by others on the record and in a public space (ie. nothing whatever to do with their private or family lives) isn't known as stalking, it's known as political blogging. I would certainly be surprised to learn that Plato seeks written permission from Lib Dem HQ before going off on one about Chris Huhne on a daily basis - but let's leave that to one side. I'm just so incredibly humbled to uncover conclusive proof from Twitter that both Plato and Fitalass practice what they preach with such rigour - and I'm delighted to announce that I'll be continuing to follow their shining example in future.
By the way, if Plato wants to know what 'creepy, weird stalking' really looks like, she might want to cast her mind back to the time someone tracked down Tim's full name and home address, and posted it on the internet out of spite. Oh, wait a moment - wasn't it her that did that?