by Rupert Insider
It’s one year since this blog was started. You could say that it did not begin to attract an audience until April 2006 when it moved to WordPress and it did not hit its stride until late May or June. But the first experiment was in March 2006.
I would like to congratulate and thank Insider Insider (II) for starting the blog and guiding it through its first successful year.
As he has explained, he meant it as a bit of laugh – to keep track of and show up Duncan Oldham’s ridiculous claims about his inside information on transfers. But the blog became a focus for many who had more serious concerns about Oldham and Koptalk.
It may be hard to believe now – but just one year ago Koptalk claimed 6,000 members, tens of thousands of lurkers every day, and it was flush with money. Oldham’s lies and distortions about LFC and its players dominated the News Now. It was not unusual that the top 15 of the top 20 stories at weekends were from Koptalk and on weekdays usually it was the top 2 or 3 with perhaps another 5 in the top 20. Oldham dominated the news sources about LFC. He was so relentless and pervasive and had evaded exposure for so long that even the club seemed to have given up trying to reclaim the mind-share that was rightfully theirs.
Oldham poured scorn on the blog, when it appeared, cheered on by his long-standing cultees on Koptalk. He offered bribes to anyone who could trick their way into discovering our identities. He spread false stories about us. He constantly suggested that we were molesting his kids. He turned his phantom “legal team” on us and tried to steal our domain. He claimed that he had special relations with the police and that he had put them on to us. And he talked of physical attacks on Insider and hiring a hitman to bump all of us off. Worse than any of that, he claimed he had Jesus Christ, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Oscar Wilde and Smoove on his side.
Insider has guarded his privacy throughout the year partly because he wanted to demonstrate that the blog is not about him – its not an ego trip – but also because the safety of his wife and kids came first. I’m from Liverpool, too, but Oldham’s threats to be working with gangsters did not trouble me because I am working outside the UK.
Insider brings to the blog a steely determination, a steady moral compass and an unerring ability to discern when Oldham is bullshitting. His patient line-by-line analysis of Oldham’s outpourings last summer and autumn created a new model for blog-writers. He forensically examined the intestinal details of Oldham’s entire stream of consciousness. As you know Oldham spread himself over innumerable posts on the Koptalk forums, his editorials, opinion pieces and special announcements and in the various blogs he set up about the trivia of his daily life. Through this patient technique Insider exerted unrelenting pressure on Oldham. He demonstrated his inconsistencies, challenged his lies – big and small – frustrated him, stoked his paranoia, and caused him to make many revelations he later regretted.
And while Insider was determined and consistent he was also open-minded, too, allowing others to join him on the blog and inviting contrary opinions.
I know something of the pressures applied to him by some of Oldham’s former cronies. They wanted Oldham exposed, all right, but in a way that hid their past involvement. But to do that would have meant obscuring how Oldham worked his cons. In one incident they implied that there might be legal action or attempt to close the blog if Insider did not force me to exonerate one of Oldham’s cronies I had named. I always gave Insider carte blanche to do what he thought was best for the blog and remove or edit anything I wrote. Because, like him, I am anonymous and not in it for reasons of ego. But he never caved-in to the pressures.
I get emails from time to time asking about Insider’s occasional absences from the blog. Of course, I respect his privacy. But since he hinted publicly recently that he has been struggling with some issues – even though he was too modest to “bore” us with them – perhaps I can broaden the hint and say that that at times he simply cannot – physically – contribute. When he can, he does. In addition to health matters, he has a family to feed.
The blog has attracted many contributors who have energized it and given it substance. You know about Right Insider, and Sawyer Insider and Tom Insider , Honorary Insider, Stannard Insider and Koptalk Outsider and Andy Insider and Outsider Outsider from their pieces and their research. But there have been many others who wished to remain anonymous who allowed us to pick bits and pieces from the draft articles they sent in, or who kept us informed of what Oldham was up to and sent in screen shots and images and suggestions. I’d like to mention Andy Insider. He was very effective in the work that led up to News Now cancelling Koptalk’s listing. I’d also like to acknowledge those who have written in about the reports they have made to various authorities about Koptalk, and those who sent in details of how they had been ripped-off by Duncan Oldham and Steve MacNeish. And don’t let’s forget the blog’s forerunner Kraptalk and its founding editor, Toby, who contributes generously here. And what about our shadow blogger – Duncan Mitty (the sad *********)
And then there are the Commentators in the Comments Section. Some of them are as well-known as the writers. Their wit, energy and passion has played a huge part in keeping the blog going. There are others, too, readers whose positions require that they remain anonymous – from the club and the press and from all walks of life.
It hasn’t cost a penny. It’s never taken in a penny. Its truly been a free and spontaneous effort born in Liverpool but involving a cross-section of LFC supporters from all over the world – serious in its intent but also – as Insider Insider intended from the beginning – a bit of laugh!