Thanet Star

Is John Hamilton secretly a Tory Shill?

The question has been asked of me many times of late Who is this annoying Hamilton fellow? To which it has been often postulated that he or she is in fact just a thinly disguised Tory shill. A proposition we shall now examine in greater detail.

Just to be clear a shill is a person who publicizes or praises something or someone for reasons of self-interest, personal profit, or friendship or loyalty. Is this John Hamilton identity attempting to do this for Tory (conservative) self-interest?

Given the number of times that the Conservative (Tory) councillors have been made to look less than stellar by bloggers it would seem reasonable that they might try a new way of "getting a handle" on us. After all, screaming liar,liar when Thanet Star published that the chief exec was going to pocket £230,000 did not work out too well, especially when the published accounts finally backed me up to the penny.

Whatever the John Hamilton identity might or might not be according to the Thanet Star policies and general netiquette (which I suggest this person lacks) his comments make this user a troll. That is a person who makes inflammatory comments to provoke a strong reaction. Trolls are often lonely and pathetic people, lacking in any perception of power over their lives which they make up for by using the pseudo-anonymity of the web to manipulate the feelings of others.

But is this troll also a shill?

John Hamilton, pen name

The John Hamilton identity is not the user's real name. It is an online identity most likely maintained by an older fellow. His name is a reference to writer Frank Richards whose real name was Charles Harold St. John Hamilton. Hamilton died in 1961 so the person using their name might be old enough to remember him.

Clearly this person behind the John Hamilton identity would like to see themselves as more articulate and clever than perhaps they suspect they are. That or they just looked up the Wikipedia list of famous people from Thanet and chose the name because they didn't know how to pronounce "St John" in a name.

Charles Hamilton (as Frank Richards) wrote of a character called Billy Bunter. Bunter's character is increasingly portrayed as obtuse, lazy, greedy, inquisitive, deceitful, and conceited - characteristics that some have alleged the troll (and possible Tory shill) John Hamilton also possesses. An position with which I would have some considerable difficulty arguing against.

Hamilton is not the first pen name that this troll has used. Prior to settling on this name he (in these cases it is almost always a single male with too much time on his hands) called himself Occupy Thanet 2. Under this name he put forth points of view that might have been used to discredit the occupy movement in Thanet had he made a decent effort.

John Hamilton, Right wing politics?

This leads to the speculation that this John Hamilton (shill, troll and probable lonely bloke), in expressing largely right of centre politics under the thin guise of supporting a left of centre activist group, might be actually following a Tory agenda.

The John Hamilton identity has been used far more frequently since the Labour group took control of the council and as the John Hamilton identity is quite likely to be maintained by an older gent this fits well with the Thanet Tory profile. Many of whom are quite old and would identify with fiction set in a public school for boys with rich dads.

The John Hamilton identity is often used to defend council members that are largely hated. Perhaps being disliked Hamilton feels a kinship with the equally disliked council members?

John Hamilton, Online bully?

Trolling can easily become a form of online bullying. A one shot "troll" of one's friends can be seen as a good joke but when there is never a time when one is able to "call time" on a fake-out it soon becomes hurtful and damaging.

Unlike most real-world bullies, trolls online can find a large ready-made audience that consistently encourages them, without any negative consequences. says Time.

The problem with bullies is that there is no reasoning with them. trolls are drunk with bad emotions and no reasoned response will do writes Dino Dogan on

What's the best way to deal with online bullies you may ask. The answer from all experts appears to be ignore them

In Dealing with the Adult Bully Dabney tells us that we need to ignore and thus depower the bully or troll and not enable them by firmly setting and keep boundaries. She reminds us that you will not change another’s actions, only your reactions to them. Keep in mind you are able to be empathic. Understand that “the bully” is acting out of their own insecurities, fear and pain. It is not about you. It is about them.

In short we need to starve the person behind the John Hamilton identity of the attention he is trying to provoke to feed his broken ego.

John Hamilton, Lonely and sad?

Social psychologists have known for decades that, if we reduce our sense of our own identity a process called deindividuation we are less likely to stick to social norms. says Michael Marshall in New Scientist. He goes on to explain how this process of distancing works in the wired world of the web making it all to easy for a weak person to become a hateful and harmful troll.

In short the man behind the John Hamilton identity, like many bullies, is a person who feels disconnected from the blogging community (as do most Tory group members), feels sidelined and has a need to feed their deflated pride and justify their delusions of superiority. Such a person has difficulty connecting with others, is often without a life partner and can be very lonely and disappointed with their life and yet feels powerless to change anything. The driver of the John Hamilton identity should be pitied rather than hated.


I've yet to hear back from any Conservatives as to if the John Hamilton identity is one of theirs so on that topic I leave you to make up your own mind.

The person who made the John Hamilton identity is likely to be a a sad and lonely person. He probably needs to feel the attention of people even if that is the anger of his own victims. This does not mean that the John Hamilton identity is not a shill for a political endeavour but that the shill is simply lost and unable to connect with people in a normal way.

He will go to blogs that feed his need. So if you would like an angry, dysfunctional shill clogging up your comments then please do feed him with attention but if you would like a reasonable discussion with sensible people then it is time to starve this bully of attention.

To the person behind the John Hamilton identity: You need help, mate. I mean it - life can't be nice being so isolated. Make some friends and stop being so silly.

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