Blogger considering legal action

Still more on the curious case of blogger Tallbloke, who was raided by the police who seized his computers, about which I posted here.  Tallbloke has sought some legal advice, and is being advised that a goodly quantity of legally punishable wrongdoings may have been committed by the police and others.  Wattsupwiththat blog posts a legal opinion by his solicitor.  Bishop Hill blog advises that a legal fund is being set up for donations.  I’ve donated something myself.

A fighting fund is being set up in order to mount a proper legal response. Donate here.

Note also the comments by Tallbloke’s solicitor at WUWT, outlining the legal action that is possible. My guess is that the police may have a problem here:

i) Potential libel claims against Laden and Mann and any others who  might be found to have stated, suggested or implied that there was  criminality on the part of Tallbloke.

ii) Potential malfeasance by the persons responsible for the  obtaining of the Warrant in the form deemed appropriate (but actually  wholly inappropriate) and for the heavy handed treatment of Tallbloke  who would always have been prepared to assist voluntarily.

iii) Various damages claims under UK law for distress, inconvenience, invasion of privacy and damage to property.

iv) Possible injunctive relief preventing examination, copying, cloning or any unauthorised use of Tallbloke’s private data.

v) Requests for immediate return of Tallbloke’s property and rectification of damage done during the process.

vi) Investigations into the sequence of events that led to this farrago and the identities of the person or persons responsible.

Other possibilities may come to mind in due course.

Tallbloke is clearly a man of courage: the English courts are not a place for the faint-hearted, and only the rich can afford to use them.

But something needs to be done.  The police felt that a blogger was easy prey, that’s for sure.  It would be very good to establish that this is not so.

“A leak?! Arrest those who found out what we’re doing!”

Curious news today, that the British police have been seizing laptops and routers from a blogger, and requesting police action in two other countries as well.  This pretty clearly violates the principle of freedom of speech online, I think.

The context of all this is the “Climategate” emails.  The climate research centre at the University of East Anglia was one of the big puffers of “climate change”.  Their work was seriously undermined, however, when someone leaked a large tranche of emails from the centre to climate sceptics, who put them online.

The emails revealed key staff engaged in very dodgy-sounding activities.  They were seen deliberately refusing to release data — as they legally should have done under the Freedom of Information Act — when the data would have (supposedly) shown that their conclusions were actually false.  The emails also showed them generally behaving in a less than scientific or professional way. A second tranche of emails was leaked a little while ago.

The political effect of the scandal has been to torpedo the whole “global warming” lobby in the United Kingdom.  An inquiry was held, and concluded that no-one at the centre did anything wrong (!), but this did nothing to alleviate a general impression that the unit had behaved fraudulently.

So who is being arrested now?  Well, not the dodgy-sounding scientists.  They did nothing wrong, we’re told.  No, the police are pursuing the bloggers — the people who reported on this, it seems, and took delivery of the “stolen” emails.  The Register has the details.

The question for me is not whether we agree with the climate change argument or not.  The issue that causes me to blog about this here is the free speech issue.  The police should not be doing this.  The bloggers did what journalists are supposed to do and revealed dirty-looking deeds by the establishment.  To silence them is what authoritarian regimes do.  How is this action in the public interest?

The need for a constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech in Britain has never been more obvious.

It would be interesting to know who, precisely, authorised this action.  But as with so many things in modern Britain, that particular piece of information is not being made available.

UPDATE: Updates about this at Watts up with that, including links to the Telegraph and Guardian.  A lot of people don’t like this one.  It’s beginning to look as if the US DOJ is the main mover in this.

Watching the omissions in a current media story 1

After my post on how the media always identifies paedophile priests as Catholics, while suppressing mention that terrorists are Moslems and immigrants, I’ve been having some fun with media reports this evening about the attempted massacre in Denmark.  It’s a chance to play a game, actually.

The game is played like this.

  • How many use the word “Moslem”?
  • How many indicate that those responsible are foreigners?

One point for each.

Here’s the scores this evening:

  • BBC Ceefax — no mention of either, but half a point for the weasel word “Islamist”.
  • Channel 4 7pm news item — no mention of either word, so zero points.
  • Sky News digital teletext report — no mention of Moslem or “Islamist”, but one point for making clear that they’re all from overseas.  One, amusingly, is an Iraqi “asylum seeker”.

Three news reports, and 1.5 points among the lot of them, out of a possible 6!

Enjoy yourselves, and watch the truth — truth that would NOT be omitted if they were Catholics — being suppressed!

An interesting current example of mass media deception

I think many Roman Catholics must be tired of the stories that appear on the national TV News.  Catholics are against paedophilia, so when they hear of a priest who has violated his vows, they are angry.  So many stories like this one have appeared:

An “unimaginably wicked” former priest has been given a prison sentence of 21 years for sexually abusing boys in the West Midlands. …

Judge Thomas said it was not for him to judge the Catholic Church’s role in proceedings.

All the stories I see on the TV news make the point that this is a Catholic priest.  Nearly always they associate the church with the crime.  That the criminal is a priest is always mentioned in the first line, and often the Catholic angle as well.

But of course one cannot complain, because it is true.  The man was a priest, and a Catholic priest.  It is unreasonable to suppose that this could be omitted from a report without some very strange editing policies.

But over Christmas, I watched the same TV news channels report another story.  This link is from the BBC, but unfortunately the online sources tend to give information not broadcast into all our living rooms.

Nine men have appeared in court charged in connection with an alleged plot to bomb high-profile targets in London in the run-up to Christmas.

The court was told that one of the potential targets was the London Stock Exchange.

The men who spoke only to confirm their names, ages, and addresses were arrested during a series of raids by counter-terrorism officers last week.

Three other men were detained at the same time but were later released without charge.

This BBC link tells us — what all the TV news stations have said:

Twelve men have been arrested during a major anti-terrorist operation, West Midlands Police said.

The men – five from Cardiff, four from Stoke-on-Trent and three from London – were detained on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism in the UK.

And that is the story.  Who are these men?  Well, we’re not told.  Why are they up to no good?  No idea.  They’re “from Cardiff… Stoke-on-Trent … London.”

I imagine we all know who they really are.  They’re all Moslems, I imagine.  They’re all immigrants, or from immigrant families.  A websearch reveals — what no TV news channel has said — that some are actually Bangladeshi, straight off the boat.

But notice how this is not said.  The mass media go out of their way to conceal this.  Instead we hear policemen reading appeals for “vigilance”.  In a way the latter is amusing — for we may ask, just whom should we be watching for?

If it is right — and I think it is — to identify the paedophile as a Catholic priest, it is right, on the same grounds, in the same way, to name the terrorists as Moslem immigrants.  But these details are suppressed.  This story is still going around.  Watch how the mass media report it.

We often dismiss as conspiracy theorists those who complain of collusion in the media.  But it does sometimes happen.  After all, the owners and editors are a small group of people who all know each other, and have far more in common with each other than with us.  The way it happens is by suppressing information — or else by describing something in a set phrase.  Rowan Williams, when appointed archbishop, was always described as “holy” — by journalists!  When the National Lottery was proposed, the TV news always referred to it, dalek-like, as “a national-lottery-to-raise-money-for-good-causes” (which it wasn’t — no money at all was distributed for months).  In this case we have a relevant piece of information suppressed, because the establishment do not want people thinking negatively of Moslems and immigrants.

Tough luck on the Catholics, then.  Evidently giving a bad smell to Catholics and priests is just fine!

This is why we need freedom of information, and an end to the monopoly on “news” by a small circle of people.