Sunday, September 23, 2007

A VERY SERIOUS MATTER

Over the past few days bloggers have been drawing their readers' attention to some disturbing events regarding blogging in Britain. I first read about it at Ellee's but since then many of my blogging peers, among them Mr Eugenides, Westminster Wisdom, Tom Paine, Grendel, The Wardman Wire and Imagined Community have written clearly, passionately and eloquently about the shutting down of some British blogs because they dared to criticise a rich and influential man. Please note that those are only blogs that I have personally read with regard to the matter: Chicken Yoghurt has the full list of bloggers who are out there fighting. Ministry of Truth has an excellent analysis and explanation of British libel laws.






As I understand the sequence of events, Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, made some allegations about Alisher Usmanov, who wants to buy a blocking stake in Arsenal Football Club, on his site. Mr Usmanov then contacted Murray's internet provider, who shut down the site. Tim Ireland's site, which linked to these accusations, was shut down by his web host as well. Other blogs have also been affected and I understand that some Arsenal supporters who have criticised Mr Usmanov on their sites have also been contacted by his solicitors.




As many of my readers know, I hate sport and I do not care who owns a football club; I can't even imagine why anyone would want to own one! But I do care about freedom of speech and if you enjoy blogs - and I assume that you do as you are reading this one - then I urge you, if you are in the UK, to write to your MP regarding this matter. If you are elsewhere, then do monitor the situation where you are, as if this can happen in Britain it could happen anywhere. "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty", said John Philpot Curran in 1790.

17 comments:

transfattyacid said...

According to wikipedia:

"warning them to remove any references to Murray's allegations, and any reproduction of Craig Murray's weblog posting"

So by you making referance to the article makes you liable to prosecution. As does owning a copy of the actual article.

New Labour standing up for British values?

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

The Police state mets the internet...

I bet they'll set up Netpol soon.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks for visiting, transfattyacid. Well, they are going to have to close an awful lot of us down now! Quite so, Crushed.

jmb said...

Although you can think you have seen everything something can always amaze you and this nasty man has indeed gone over the line. But plenty of people have a surprise for him. Silencing of criticism is not so easily achieved as he thought and people who had never even heard of him are now aware of him and all that he wished to remain hidden.

regards
jmb

Matt Wardman said...

>"warning them to remove any references to Murray's allegations, and any reproduction of Craig Murray's weblog posting"

>So by you making referance to the article makes you liable to prosecution. As does owning a copy of the actual article.

ROFL.

As if they will come after a Sicilian living blogger with their site hosted in North America.

Lee said...

It would appear bullying is everywhere.

Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion in this free Western World we enjoy and fight to retain.

Who, in their right mind, would want a bully to own their club, business or such...who, in their right mind, would agree to his terms and conditions?

Who, in their right mind, doesn't see this banning of blogs who spoke out about that bully is a blot on our democratic rights?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Jmb, that is absolutely right. Thanks, Matt - I needed the reassurance, daft though I am! Lee, you have said it all - thank you.

mutleythedog said...

May I copy your post to my blog Ms Limoncello? I am not keen to try to write anything new about this as I am rubbish at writing about politics - but we need to take a stand here..

MJW said...

The problem with such a heavy handed approach is that now even more people are aware of Usmanov's murky past.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Certainly, Mr Mutley. I'm sure you are not rubbish at writing about politics, though!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, MJW. Yes, he's given himself bad publicity, hasn't he?

Lord Higham- Murray said...

Yes - he would not have been expecting this sort of opposition but how much of our "up in arms" is just hot irrelevant air to him? How far can we make a difference?

Gledwood said...

see what happens when the "great and the good" become overweening and bad..??

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Good evening, your lordship. I don't know. In my experience, bullies have a curious desire to be loved. And if we can get parliamentary questions asked, he won't like that! Hi, Gleds. Exactly.

Ellee Seymour said...

Thanks Welshcakes, Bob Piper is now online again, not sure how he has managed it. I think this must be a record for the number of British blogs that have rallied round on one cause, it is such a gross infringement of our freedom of expression.

Sean Jeating said...

Thanks for urging, Welshcakes. :)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Ellee. Glad BP is back on, at least. Yes, it's good that the blogosphere are rallying round. Thanks, Sean - felt it was the least I could do.

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