Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Redwire Design

[This post as been relocated to this back-up blog after a complaint was made to my provider on 16/03/2010. The original article was posted to Bloggerheads.com 27/01/2010. Details here.]

This post is about some (or perhaps hopefully just one) of the wonderful people at Redwire Design, but first we need some background for those who came in late (and to cover some recent parts that have only just come to light). Please bear with me:

Early in 2009, a conman by the name of Dominic Wightman (aka Dominic Whiteman, aka Richard Walker) saw in the Glen Jenvey story an opportunity to screw over some former associates while at the same time screwing me (for reasons that have yet to be fully established). This scheme of his resulted in a false claim of paedophilia spread by Jenvey, who (with nothing to gain by lying) later claimed that he was fed this lie and my ex-directory home address by Wightman, along with the assurance that I "needed sorting out".

Things didn't quite work out the way Wightman planned, and eventually circumstances led to the uncovering of a blatant smear campaign created and conducted by Wightman, resulting in multiple visits from the police that Wightman hilariously portrays as being appointments of his own design.

Fearing what I might report (there is a LOT that has so far gone unreported), Wightman decided to get his retaliation in early (!) with an extraordinarily rambling, malicious and misleading attack on my good name. It was at this time that some associates of Wightman began to publish my home address alongside false accusations that I was in league with extremists, and a stalker of women.

The bulk of these associates hide behind pseudonyms, go by the collective name of the 'Cheerleaders', and are also involved in a band by the name of The Fighting Cocks. There are also some mates and hangers-on whose real names are more accessible, and that group of people includes 'Jonny Yeah' (aka Jon Chappell). More on him in a moment.

This campaign of harassment has included the repeated broadcast of my home address to the types of people that Wightman himself has described as having "a history of late-night visits to enemies". Further, while the 'Cheerleaders' style themselves as anti-fascist activists, they had no qualms about repeatedly broadcasting my home address to members of the BNP while alerting them to my involvement in campaigns they would be none-too-pleased with. If the intention wasn't to do me harm, it was to make me fearful for my safety and cause me distress. It certainly did the latter, especially when the campaign escalated to direct threats of violence, causing me and my family great concern.

'Jonny Yeah' (aka Jon Chappell) was CCed on the emails threatening me with violence. Further threats involving the continued misuse of my data were then issued on his behalf (and on the behalf of other relevant parties) after I dared to list on my site the names and/or email addresses of all those who were associated with the earlier therat of violence. 'Jonny Yeah' also appears to have been closely associated with an anonymous SPA (single-purpose account) on YouTube that was used in this ongoing campaign of harassment.

I can prove that this account was used to repeatedly broadcast my home address to people the author regarded to be potentially hostile to me, and that this was visibly and quite obviously the only purpose of the account. Further, I can prove that an account in the name of 'JonnyYeah1' was associated with this anonymous account and that an account in the name of Kooba Radio ('KoobaTV') was used to link to and promote the anonymous account in a way that cannot have escaped the attention of the main 'KoobaTV' account holder, even if they were to later claim that they had been hacked or set up or some such nonsense.

Kooba Radio was founded by... 'Jonny Yeah' (aka Jon Chappell), along with a man by the name of Alex Malloy (The Boy Malloy) and a mysterious woman by the name of Angela Collins (She Who Must Not Be Named).

After changing his story a few times, Johnny Yeah eventually denied involvement and claimed that Angela Collins had left Kooba Radio. He also appears to have changed the Kooba Radio email settings so they now reject any email from me as spam, but I have yet to confirm this. More on that in a moment.

Public versions of the ongoing online attacks from 'Cheerleaders' then started afresh, this time quite specifically on behalf of 'Johnny Yeah' and his Kooba Radio colleagues:

screen capture of some recently-deleted tweets from the Cheerleaders

Faced with the following error message, legally, I needed to be certain that I had been deliberately spam-blocked, not least because of the delightfully self-reinforcing accusation of stalking that is so easily exploited in situations where people start refusing contact by email:

Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 571 571 5.7.1 Message contains spam or virus : 16522:4131863472|125F (state 18).

The website and email accounts for Kooba Radio are hosted by a company by the name of RedWire Design.

The man who handles the bulk of enquiries for that company is.... Alex Malloy (Jon Chappell's partner in Kooba Radio).

So, wanting to give Alex a chance to tell his side of the story (Chapell's denials implied his involvement), and needing to go through Alex to find out if his 'client' had actively spamblocked me, I got in touch.

Having just been informed of pretty much everything I just explained to you, Alex was queried about the apparent spam block, but didn't act at all surprised about any of it and - speaking as an official representative of RedWire Design - had this to say...

redwire design: we are good people

... before promptly hanging up.

Alex is listed on the Redwire site as a Director of the company (citing Search Engine Optimisation as his lead skill, and you better believe there'll be more on that in moment).

The only person senior to Alex appears to be Managing Director, Nick Catt.

I should stress that there is no visible evidence of Nick Catt's involvement in this ongoing campaign of harassment at this stage, but his profile states that he "runs a live music and club night with Alex" (and another man), so he probably knows those 'Cheerleaders' who are in The Fighting Cocks at least, and doing the right thing is likely to complicate his life in those circles, so I am wary of any further approach through direct channels, especially with the ever-present risk that someone might hide behind a cry of "Stalker!" at any moment

Instead, I'm here in public (again) having to explain all this crap (again) and finding myself quite surprised that I have to drag some people kicking and screaming into the light just to get them to do the decent thing (again).

In about an hour, this post should be a high search result for queries relating to 'redwire design'. I am hoping that this will lead to a sudden upsurge of professionalism on their end, but I'm not holding my breath.

In fact, I'm half expecting some kind of misguided counter-attack by Alex Malloy or maybe even the company he does all them professional communications for.

Fine by me. I'd stake my SEO kung-fu against his any day... especially with the law, the truth and a shedload of evidence on my side.


UPDATE - 48 minutes, this took. Nowhere near the record, but still worthy of mention:

screen capture


UPDATE (28 Jan) - Hey, guess what, everyone? They're going to be ratbags about it.

Alex Malloy cannot deny involvement in the KoobaTV account, and it is certainly reasonable in my view to ask who the primary account holder might be in the circumstances. He sees things differently.

Meanwhile the 'Cheerleaders' are hopping about angrily playing the side of law enforcement all of a sudden, outraged that I'd dare to ask anyone about their real names (when they claim it is not an issue); the abiding theme is that if I dare to object to being attacked, then they will continue to attack me... but it has already been established that they plan to continue to attack me anyway. It's just another piss-poor justification to add to the collection.

Kooba Radio

[This post as been relocated to this back-up blog after a complaint was made to my provider on 16/03/2010. The original article was posted to Bloggerheads.com 22/01/2010. Details here.]

Jonny Yeah and Charlie Flowers: they don't really know each otherKooba Radio bills itself as an "independent, non-profit, Internet-based radio station focused on alternative rock, playing unsigned bands from around the world" and was founded by Jon Chappell (Jonny Yeah), Alex Malloy (The Boy Malloy) and Angela Collins (She Who Must Not Be Named).

Kooba Radio is also a joke, and just a wee bit corrupt in places.

As most of you are aware, most of last year was marred by an ongoing campaign of harassment resulting from my encounter with the 'amateur terror expert' Dominic Wightman (a former associate of Glen Jenvey and Patrick Mercer). That campaign of harassment escalated to the repeated publication of my home address by a group calling themselves the 'Cheerleaders'. These people claim to be anti-fascist, but they had no qualms about broadcasting my address to BNP members alongside mentions of my involvement in anti-BNP campaigns such as Billy Brit. The 'Cheerleaders' have made a number of unsubstantiated claims in a belated attempt to justify their actions, but what's most likely is that they initially did this because Wightman told them to do it, and they painted themselves into a corner* from there.

Kooba Radio first came to my attention a couple of days before the email address of one of the founders (Jon Chappell, aka 'Jonny Yeah') turned up in the CC list of a group email from the 'Cheerleaders' threatening me with violence.

I wrote about that threat and included the relevant email addresses in the report. Months passed, then, over the New Year holiday period, when most people in the entertainment industry were busy with gigs (or at least sleeping it off), someone on that list wasted away their days and nights (again) making good on an earlier threat to share my personal data with Nigerian scammers if I refused to remove that list of names and email addresses.

When doing so, they posed as me, pretended that I was manager of a small local bank branch, and provided them with my main email address and (ex-directory) home address. Nice, huh?

I was recently assured in a further email from someone with a third-person fetish that "they're going to keep coming until you remove the email addresses from your blog".

This suggested to me that someone on that list didn't want to be visibly associated with what the 'Cheerleaders' had been up to, so I contacted everyone on that list, and offered them the chance to disassociate themselves from the online attacks and threats of violence. If they wanted to be removed from this post, all they had to do was account for their conduct to date (i.e. why not object before now?), and distance themselves from this ongoing campaign of harassment.

Only 'Jonny Yeah' took me up on the offer and asked for his name/address to be removed. Initially, he pretended not to know anything about the campaign of harassment. When this pretence was fatally undermined by the evidence, 'Jonny' suddenly lost interest in the attempt to have his name/address removed, but how he did it will be of most interest to any fans of Kooba Radio:

First, while claiming to know nothing about any of it, 'Jonny Yeah' implied that his inclusion on the list was the result of some random activity by fans who lifted his email address from his website. Because he's a superstar DJ, don't you know.

His claim was contradicted by the evidence, and I said so.

'Jonny Yeah' responded by attempting to explain away his demonstrable association with the Cheerleaders (and connections with leader Charlie Flowers) by saying that their 'very good' band (The Fighting Cocks) had featured on his show, and that was the limit of his involvement. Because he's a superstar DJ, don't you know.

His revised claim was contradicted by the evidence, and I said so.

'Jonny Yeah' then went on to claim that he hadn't been aware of any of this despite being CCed on the original threat and emailed specifically about it because Kooba Radio have strong spam filters to avoid all the 'crap' that results from his efforts to "enable young (and not so young) musicians to submit [material] to us". He then urged me to tune into his show that evening. Because he's a superstar DJ, don't you know.

This revised claim was contradicted by the evidence, and I said so.

I also made it absolutely clear to him at this stage that I could prove his association with a YouTube account created mainly to publish my home address and gave him one last opportunity to deny it... or perhaps explain himself.

'Jonny Yeah' responded by asking me what I thought of his show that evening.


At no stage did he express any interest in or disapproval of the repeated use of my personal data to intimidate me... most recently, on his behalf.

It wasn't until I made it clear that I intended to publish something about it that he made good with a vague denial of direct involvement, before quickly moving on to assure me that he wouldn't ever be mentioning me on his show, as if that's what I wanted.

Because he's a superstar DJ, don't you know.

Sadly for 'Jonny', this claim of star-status is also contradicted by the evidence:

1. The IP address used when sending almost all of his emails corresponds with IP data connected to many/most of the edits to this Wikipedia page about his radio 'station'. Said page is a shameless (and lengthy) construct of laughable self-promotion, the highlight of which is an account of 'Broadband Aid', a "new arrangement of Band Aid, the famous Christmas Single", in which the author goes on to specify (and link directly to) everybody who sang a line in this bold venture. There's no way it's going to survive in its current state once I've mentioned it here, so here's a screen capture for the ages.

2. Encouraged by 'Jonny Yeah', I did visit their site and explore their glorious world of online radio stardom. For starters, according to Alexa, my main website (bloggerheads.com) attracts a larger audience than theirs (koobaradio.co.uk)... by a factor of around 10-1 by the looks of things. Alexa is really only reliable as a thumbnail sketch, but the Twitter stats support this; I presently have 1,542 followers, while Kooba Radio have 175 (and 'Jonny Yeah' has 95). The YouTube stats also support this; with Bloggerheads currently standing at 10,210 channel views and KoobaTV at 1,702. Their most popular video got 402 views. My least popular video got 843. I say all of this while recognising the modesty of my own efforts... it just amused me to be dismissed as a delusional fanboy by a guppy who thinks he's a shark. The only thing that gives this tosser any power/edge over me is his willingness to participate in the kind of anonymous harassment that almost every web user recognises as being beyond the pale. It also needs to be noted that the audience of this radio 'station' listens via these channels; it is not a case of them having a smaller web audience than their actual audience, because the web audience is their audience. There's more in #4, but if 'Jonny Yeah' is worried about going mainstream, he shouldn't let those concerns keep him up nights; the nearest he's likely to get to compromising his anti-establishment principles is accepting the 'employee of the month' award at Burger King.

screen grab of Twitter accounts

screen grab of Youtube accounts

On the subject of YouTube, I wasn't able to mention this before now because Google only got around to suspending the relevant account yesterday, but someone at Kooba Radio used their YouTube channel to link to and promote another YouTube account created mainly (if not only) to publish and promote my ex-directory home address as part of an ongoing campaign of harassment. I'd make a bigger deal of my not knowing exactly who at Kooba Radio did this if it weren't for the fact that the account JonnyYeah1 was also visibly associated with that same online attack. At the very least, it can be said with some certainty that when 'Jonny Yeah' claimed to be completely unaware of the campaign of harassment yesterday, he was lying. This, sadly, undermines the vague denials he made about direct involvement before signing off.

3. It also needs to be noted that 'Jonny Yeah' is a lot closer to some of the bands he promotes than he lets on. This is what the professionals in the show business call a 'conflict if interest'... not that I would dare to imply that Jon Chappell (aka Jonny Yeah) is in any way professional.

4. Attention, unsigned bands (and bands signed with small labels): not only is Kooba Radio co-founder and 'headline' DJ Jon Chappell a pathetic lying scoundrel who knowingly participates in anonymous web bullying, but he's most likely going to end up being a complete waste of your time even if he decides to help you rather than, say, put the safety of your family at risk for shits and giggles. I could help you to reach a much bigger audience without even trying, and even if the deal goes hopelessly sour, there's no way I'm going to be as much of a twat about it as this guy.

(Not that I've any interest in being a superstar DJ at this stage of my life... or a twat. I'm just saying is all.)

Jonny Yeah


[*At any stage, the 'Cheerleaders' can render themselves an irrelevance by rolling over on Dominic Wightman. I've said so privately will happily declare it publicly. I have no interest in vendettas, as my treatment of Jenvey after his confession should make clear; there are some who may beg to differ on that point, but like 'Jonny Yeah' they've been telling outright lies about the extent of their involvement in this affair. I'm not out to 'get at' any of the 'Cheerleaders', but if I have to, I will go through them in order to clearly establish the role played by Wightman. At least one of the 'Cheerleaders' should be warned that recent impersonations could lead to the closure of their email account regardless of what I have to say about it, and a window of opportunity is likely to close with it; they will not be able to present me with solid evidence of Wightman's role if the receiving account has been deactivated. The 'Cheerleaders' have made a number of vague claims about being deceived by Dominic Wightman, and if they want to prove it, then now is the time, and there is nothing holding them back if the evidence is there. After all, they can't possibly claim that they refuse to reveal relevant evidence on the grounds of a person's right to privacy.]

Friday, January 29, 2010

To: Nick Catt

[This post as been relocated to this back-up blog after a complaint was made to my provider. Details here.]

Well, the unpleasantness continues, and Alex Malloy is hiding behind his company firewall. If you could take a moment to read the detail and send a quick email to Nick Catt (if you see fit), then I'd greatly appreciate the time and effort. Cheers.

Nick Catt
Managing Director, Redwire Design

Dear Nick,

Apologies for the open letter, but an all-too-familiar game is unfolding and your company Director Alex Malloy appears to have blacklisted my email address(es) in response to my query about the apparent (but still-unconfirmed) spam-blocking of these same addresses by one of your clients.

I use the word 'client' loosely given that the relevant account involves Jon Chappell, Alex Malloy's mate and partner in Kooba Radio. I'm guessing the whole arrangement involving your hosting of their website, email and what have you is more congenial than it is formal, but there is no question of you hosting it and being ultimately responsible for how your servers are used and for the conduct of your Director in their management and for any relevant communication from your staff about that.

Moving in the local band/club circles as you do, you must be aware of a band by the name of The Fighting Cocks. If you don't know who these people are, your Director Alex Malloy certainly does; he's played host to them on his Kooba Radio 'station' many times, and they appear repeatedly on his website (that you host). Core members of The Fighting Cocks (alongside hangers-on like Jon Chappell) also go by the name of the 'Cheerleaders', and in a lonnng campaign of harassment from behind these names and a series of sock-puppets and pseudonyms they have repeatedly published my ex-directory home address in an effort to intimidate me into silence. This all has to do with a conman of their acquaintance by the name of Dominic Wightman (NOT a name I expect you to know; this is just for background).

I can show you evidence of the involvement of the relevant Kooba Radio YouTube account in the active promotion of an account used (only) to broadcast my home address if you have any doubts about this, or if Malloy is denying any of it in your communication(s) with him. When we last communicated, he denied knowing about any of it, but the evidence suggests otherwise (personally, I suspect he's lying and obfuscating to protect himself and his mates, if you'll allow me to be frank with you) and it's still no excuse for his conduct in response to fair and pertinent questions.

Malloy knows who the main account holder for 'KoobaTV' is, but refuses to discuss the matter in any way. You may choose to back away into a legally-secure (if morally dubious) position that this aspect of our (ahem) disagreement is none of your business, but he is also refusing to be clear about the nature of an apparent spam-block on an email account that you host, and the stench of bad faith is coming from Redwire's corner as a result.

Oh, and now I'm receiving further threats made on behalf of these friends of the Cheerleaders who claim not to know anything about those same Cheerleaders. Here's the latest, received just this morning:

from Princess Calamity [princesscalamity@googlemail.com]
to Tim Ireland
date Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 12:02 AM
subject Re: Publication of your email address

Matyi is about to put a Gypsy curse on you and your entire family, at dawn tomorrow- and it'll be a bad one :(
... you can avoid this curse, by never contacting or writing about us or anyone to do with us again. I'm sure your wife wouldn't be too happy about your obsessions leading to her and you and yours getting lumbered with something that will follow your bloodline down the generations, now would it?
So.. your choice Mr Stalker.

[FYI:' Matyi' = 'Charlie Flowers']

Now, if it were taken in isolation some people might expect all those concerned to laugh this one off, but I'm detecting an implied threat against my family there, and I'd be interested to know what you think, especially as these and other threats are now being made on behalf of one of your 'clients', a Director of your company and now, apparently, the company itself:

from The Fighting Cocks UK [fightingcocks@live.co.uk]
to Tim Ireland
date Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 12:45 AM
subject and you are now, officially, in the shit.

I TOLD you not to contact these people. But your mental condition meant you had to, didn't it? OK you are now officially in the crap, P-Group has found your web host, and they have been notified.
You have a choice:
1. Walk away and look away, and NEVER contact anyone involved with us again.
2. Keep it up, and reap the whirlwind.

3. This means and includes: anyone at Kooba or Redwire.

TFC Cheerleaders

[I fail to see what possible case these people can hope to present to my web host, unless they're following up on Malloy's claims of 'threats and defamation' that he is curiously unable to identify when challenged.]

As you can see, by attempting to contact you I risk 'reaping the whirlwind', and I apologise in advance for my next act, which is designed to ensure that this attempt will not have been in vain:

Hi folks. Without being rude about it, please forward a copy of this message (and/or a link to this post) to Nick Catt at nick@redwiredesign.com

If you think I'm being too long-winded (as usual), then do feel free to aid comprehension with your own summary, but please try to remain professional about it, as Nick Catt is a Managing Director and therefore likely to be a Serious Person, unwilling to stand for any swears or abuse.

(I'll scrub this message when he responds. For as long as it remains live, the request stands. Cheers all.)

These people can only continue to attack me for as long as they remain anonymous, and these people will continue to attack me for as long as the man who is directing the attacks enjoys plausible deniability.

Your man Malloy appears determined to be a strong link in a long chain of ratbags. I'm hoping that you will recognise the value of being at least a little bit more professional about it, even if you're going to deny all knowledge yourself and pretend that you've merely been away from your desk for a 67-hour moment.


Tim Ireland

OK, so now we see what kind of person Nick Catt is, I guess.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Schillings are making secret threats again

Craig Murray - Iraq Mercenary Boss Hires Schillings To Block My New Book Schillings are a firm of libel lawyers dedicated to prevent the truth from being known about some deeply unlovely people. They managed temporarily to close down this blog (and several others) to keep information quiet about the criminal record of Alisher Usmanov. Now they are attempting to block the publication of my new book in the interests of mercenary commander Tim Spicer, one of those who has made a fortune from the Iraq War.

Unity - Murray faces more legal bullying: To appreciate the full scope of what Schillings are trying to do here, you need to read the letter that was sent to Craig and his publishers, which was marked 'Not For Publication' - Craig has it on his blog in PDF format, but to make life easier for everyone, here's the full text of the letter...

Mainstream Publishing Company (Edinburgh) Limited
7 Albany Street

OurRef: SMS/JXR/ww/A131/3
08 July 2008

Dear Sirs

The Road to Samarkand - Craig Murray

We represent Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Spicer OBE, C.E.O. of Aegis Defence Services Limited ("Aegis").

We are instructed to write to you with regard to 'THE ROAD TO SAMARKAND- INTRIGUE, CORRUPTION AND DIRTY DIPLOMACY' ("the Book") written by Craig Murray and due to be published in September 2008 by you (http://www.rbooks.co.uk/search results.aspx) to be sold in England and Wales by Random House Sales Department.

We have reason to believe that the Book may contain serious, untrue and damaging defamatory allegations about our client.

Please confirm by return whether the Book is due to be published in England and Wales in September 2008 and if so, the exact date. Please also confirm whether the Book is due to be published in any other jurisdiction, setting out each jurisdiction, together with the publication date and publisher concerned in each case.

Importantly, we require you to confirm by return whether or not the Book contains any reference to our client, and if so, we require you to set out in full each and every reference to our client in its entirety to give our client the opportunity to take legal advice and to respond to any allegations in good time prior to publication.

Any widespread publication of the Book containing defamatory allegations concerning our client would be deeply damaging to our client's personal and professional reputations and would cause him profound distress and anxiety. We remind you that you would be responsible for that damage and any subsequent republication of the allegations. We also put you on notice that you will be liable for any special damage or loss suffered by our client as a result of the Book and we reserve all our client's rights in this regard.

We note from your website http://www.mainstreampublishing.com/news_current.html that Mr Murray is due to speak about the Book at a 'Mainstream author event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival' entitled 'Lived Lives' on 12th August 2008 at 4.30pm in the RBS Main Theatre, Edinburgh. We hereby put both you and Mr Murray on notice that all our client's rights are reserved in relation to any defamatory comments or publications made by you or Mr Murray in relation to that event.

Please immediately take into your possession all drafts of the Book pre-publication, all notes, emails, correspondence, memos, images and other documents relevant to the publication of this Book, and preserve them safely pending the outcome of this dispute. They will need to be disclosed in due course if litigation has to be commenced. Also, you will need to disclose the financial arrangements for the sale and licence of the Book to other publications.

In the circumstances, we require that you confirm immediately that you agree to undertake on behalf of Mainstream Publishing Company (Edinburgh) Limited not to publish any libels regarding our client in any editions of the Book or at all.

We require the above undertaking by 4pm on Friday 11h July 2008, failing which we will have no option but to advise our client with regard to making applications to the High Court for an injunction to restrain publication and/or for pre-action disclosure. You are on notice that we will seek to recover the costs of any necessary applications from you.

We await your response by return. In the meantime all our client's rights are reserved, including the right to issue proceedings against you without further notice.
Yours faithfully

cc. Craig Murray Esq.

(Please note that simply reproducing this letter on your own blog could cause one of our bravest cash-only fighting heroes "profound distress and anxiety"...)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A piss-poor DoS attack

Yesterday, Blogger.com got in touch following a false report that this website was a 'spam blog'. For roughly 24 hours, the site was suspended.

The case was quickly reviewed by a human being working for Blogger.com who determined quite rightly that it wasn't a spam blog at all.

This was the only Blogger.com-based weblog of mine that was targeted in this way, so I think it's fair to say that this was probably the work of someone acting in the interests of Alisher Usmanov, Schillings, and/or Fasthosts.

Whoever was behind the false complaint, I have a short message for you:

1. It was dishonest.

2. It was pathetic.

3. It didn't do you any favours.

4. And now you've got my attention all over again.

Well done!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Usmanov: burying the evidence

A little something for the (very few) supporters of Usmanov challenging Craig Murray to produce evidence:

Guardian - Government denies access to Usmanov reports: The Government has refused a parliamentary request for it to publish two official Foreign & Commonwealth Office reports about the activities of Alisher Usmanov, the Uzbek-born Russian billionaire who is now the second largest shareholder in Arsenal.... Murray said that he sent the two reports from the Uzbeki capital, Tashkent, to the foreign office by confidential telegram, the standard format for communications from overseas-based embassies. They were "quite highly classified" because of the risk of identifying the people Murray claims passed him the information. "It is true that there is no documentary evidence - how could there be on such a matter?" he said. "I think it is right that the reports be published, although in a form which would protect the identities of the sources."


Bartholomew - Journalist-Critic of Uzbek Regime Murdered: Twenty-six-year-old Uzbek journalist Alisher Saipov has been shot dead in the city of Osh, Kyrgyzstan, apparently by Uzbek security agents.

Craig Murray has more on both developments.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Schillings and some action-packed Nazi excitement

REVEL in the sheer hypocrisy of the Mail bringing up a past connection to the Nazis!

SHIVER in anticipation as Schillings advises their client to press any and all legal advantage in a way that's sure to bring more negative publicity!

SIGH in relief when that client reveals that - unlike certain ancestors - he can be quite sensible when the pressure is on.

Anorak - Schillings Update: On Alisher Usmanov, Peter Serafinowizc And Online PR

Schillings really have to learn that that they're no good at this PR lark.

Monday, October 22, 2007

No Parliamentary Privilege for you!

SpyBlog - Alisher Usmanov Parliamentary Question rebuffed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: The Labour government appears to be trying to protect Alisher Usmanov from public scrutiny... (Their) "personal data" excuse is also what the FCO appear to be relying on in their refusal to name the former Russian Federation and British and diplomats who were expelled over the Andrei Litvinenko Polonium-210 radioactive poisoning murder and contamination affair.

UPDATE - A 'see also' via Atlantic Free Press:

Brian Barder - The Telegraph on the gagging of ex-diplomats by the Foreign Office: Is the Foreign Office simply protecting its official secrets, or seeking to save ministers from embarrassment? Official secrets are protected by the Official Secrets Act, which rightly binds officials for life, both as government employees and after retirement. The new rules go much further, banning any unauthorised expression of opinion not just by serving officers but by also by retired diplomats for the rest of their lives, if it "draws on, or appears to draw on, official information or experience gained in the course of official duties", even if no breach of secrets is involved.

Alisher Usmanov: diamonds in the rough

Independent - Arsenal move to block Usmanov: Arsenal's directors have extended the 'lockdown' to ward off a potential takeover – and are set to invite American sports tycoon Stan Kroenke to sign up to the agreement. The move is a clear snub to Alisher Usmanov, the Russian billionaire who controls Red & White Holdings which has a 23 per cent stake in the club, and cements Kroenke's favoured status with Arsenal. He was consulted on the lockdown while Usmanov wasn't.

Meanwhile, there's another lockdown of an entirely different nature going on...

John Helmer - Court documents reveal De Beers charges against Usmanov over Grib diamond pipe: A public relations blitz under way this month in London and the UK media has produced charges and counter-charges involving Alisher Usmanov, an iron-ore and steel magnate. He is accused of conspiring with other Russians to defraud a De Beers-affiliated company of its 40% stake in, and several hundred millions of dollars in future profits from, the only major diamond deposit newly discovered in northwestern Russia... This time Usmanov has been after possible control of the Arsenal Football Club. As the Corus board had done before them, the Arsenal shareholding defenders have attempted to persuade the London newspapers to publish items from Usmanov’s past career, thereby deterring shareholders from selling out, and creating an atmosphere hostile to Usmanov’s involvement in the affairs of the football club. As Usmanov had done before, he found his champion in a Moscow-based correspondent for the Sunday Times. What the latter omitted to report was a detailed dossier of court files from Sweden to the United States, the existence and meaning of which Usmanov has gone to great public care and private expense to deny. The wording of Usmanov’s denials is subtle; the only way to understand that is to read the court documents themselves. De Beers isn’t providing them. The diamond group is carefully avoiding being drawn publicly on the conflict, although it is indirectly connected to Arsenal through Sir Chips Keswick. A former Hambros banker, Keswick sits on both the De Beers and Arsenal boards. Keswick was last reported as owning 20 shares of Arsenal, amounting to 0.032% of the issued stock.

Sheffield Wednesday

The Register - Judge orders football website to name 'libellous' posters

Guardian - Warning to abusive bloggers as judge tells site to reveal names

OUT-law News - Sheffield Wednesday can't unmask 'saloon-bar moaners', says libel judge

Bartholemew - Identities of Internet "Saloon-Bar Moaners" Protected

Please note that the following thoughts are based primarily on hypothectical circumstances more likely to relate to poorly-regulated weblogs than forums:

- What if the "seven of eleven individuals" who are protected are all the same individual and/or a small group deliberately using "trivial attack(s)" to bolster, boost or 'boot' the primary attack?

- Those running anonymous weblogs and/or poorly-regulated weblogs that allow for repeated anonymous smears 'jokes' will want to take a long, hard look at the costs accrued in revealing the identities of those involved. There are ways of retrieving historical comment-related IP data from months back that you may not even be aware of, and most of them are extremely expensive.

- Expenses that seem prohibitive (to you) could conceivably prevent a libel action, but they could just as easily be dumped right in your lap.

Society of Homeopaths 'pulls an Usmanov'

Via Toby Bryans and Peter Risdon and James Graham and Tom Watson and Justin McKeating and... well, almost *everyone*, really:

DC’s Improbable Science - Society of Homeopaths: cowards and bullies: Many people now have written about the disgraceful and dangerous claims by homeopaths to be able to prevent and cure malaria... One of the best contributions was on the Quackometer blog, The Gentle Art of Homeopathic Killing. But the post vanished at midday on Thursday 11 October. Quackometer’s ISP has received threatening letters sent by lawyers on behalf of the Society of Homeopaths, who claim that the truth is defamatory, while being unwilling to say which statements are wrong.

Bad Science - A corporate conspiracy to silence alternative medicine?: Did the SoH engage with these criticisms? Reflect on them? Challenge and rebutt them? No. They sent a threatening legal letter. Did this threatening legal letter say what was wrong with Dr Lewis’s post? No. It wasn’t even sent to him, it was sent to his hosting company Netcetera, demanding they take his page down. He contacted the SoH, very politely (I mean incredibly politely, read it here), to ask them what the problems were with his comments. No response. Instead their lawyers sent another angry letter to his hosting company, who of course cannot investigate this in full, are strictly speaking liable, and so – good call - the page was taken down. Corporate conspiracy silences the little man: except of course his piece has now been replicated a hundred times across the internet by an army of smirking bloggers.

You can read that awfully polite but sadly ignored letter in full here:

Quackometer - Unanswered Questions

You can read the offending post at any one of these fabulous new locations, but the best version is hosted by none other than James Randi, who helpfully points out where in the article the Society of Homeopaths might seek to gain legal advantage through the equally-misunderstood art of Semantic Origami:

James Randi - Criticize Carefully

Yes, with the exception of possible differences in body count, it's the Alisher Usmanov affair all over again.

The body of what Andy Lewis had to say was not challenged in any genuine legal sense by Homiety of Sociopaths; in fact, there appears to have been a determined effort to prevent Andy Lewis from seeing the body of the challenge in order to deny him the possibility of challenging it. Bodily. (Nurse! The sugar pills!)