Thursday, September 27, 2007


Yesterday, thousands of witnesses (most of them authors of key weblogs or their readers) watched Fasthosts punk out... again. They had their chance to make good and they blew it.

Next cab off the rank: Schillings.

You'll like this one; it's short and sweet...


----- Original Message -----
From: Clive Summerfield
Cc: Tim Ireland
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2007 10:01 AM
Subject: Usamanov/Schillings/Summerfield/Murray - Request for correspondence

Dear Sirs,

This is a request for copies of all correspondence sent to Fasthosts from your organisation involving material published on the websites of Craig Murray and Tim Ireland. In case you're not aware, Fasthosts have so far failed to show me anything beyond your first letter.

We're feeling a little ignored over here, and in no mood to waste time. We've set a perfectly reasonable deadline of 6 hours, which we hope you will meet as a sign of good faith.

Please keep in mind that statements made by your representatives seeking to lay the blame with Fasthosts would carry much more weight if you were able to show that they acted in an unreasonable fashion to reasonable demands.

Clive Summerfield
[CC: Tim Ireland]

That gives them until 4pm this afternoon. Let's see what they come back with.

UPDATE (5:30pm) - Tch. That's what you get for trying to be accommodating; we got nothing back. Not a sausage.

So, basically, Schillings' case to the public is that they made perfectly reasonable demands of Fasthosts, but we're not allowed to see them.

Fine by me. The longer they stick with this line, the longer people will suspect that Schillings own an unknown but not insignificant percentage of this almighty cock-up.

They're not afraid of appearing rabid (in fact, they seem quite proud of it), but it won't do them much good to look stupid.



Matt Wardman said...

It's 4:05pm...

Tim said...

So sue me for being generous.


Post updated in 5, 4, 3, 2...

Philip said...

To be rabid we're perfectly willing,
Provided we're making a killing;
But given the tools,
We will also look fools,
When for Uzbeki mobsters we're Schilling.

Tim said...

Surely "You're not singing anymore!" would be *far* more appropriate...

Póló said...

Fasthosts are boasting in their blog here ( )
about winning an award for web hosting.

The voting is done here (

Why not express our opinion where it hurts by leaving comments on their blog (they are moderated and may not be published but will be read) and voting them down the scale at webhostdir.

Just a thought. I've left a comment but don't expect it to appear.

Tim said...

Unfortunately, we've learned from the initial offer of a dialogue onwards (see timeline) that any attempt to engage with them in this way would be futile. They're just not interested.

Captain Kirkham said...

Sorry to rain on the parade, but there is no chance in hell that Schillings is going to (now or in the future) reveal copies of correspondence to third parties in an ongoing dispute. To do so would be entirely negligent vis a vis their own client.

Tim said...

If the details of the instruction/complaint are not disclosed, how on earth are we supposed to determine the best way to avoid similar difficulties in the future? All we're asking for is a copy of the instructions we were compelled to follow.

Captain Kirkham said...

Tim, you can't determine the best way to avoid such difficulties in the future, but that is not their problem nor their concern, from their point of view. Hence why you can't expect an answer from them.

Tim said...

But without those details, we're suddenly in a position where the only way to avoid possible closure of our website(s) is to delete all past references to Alisher Usmanov, and say no more about him in the future. This, you might guess, is where it overlaps just a little with the issue of free speech.

Captain Kirkham said...

Yes of course, and you will get no argument from me that this is a gross breach of the right to free speech. I am, I assure you, 100% on the side of Craig Murray and you on this issue.

Nevertheless, Schillings aren't. They are on the other side. So not in a million years are they going to help you out. As I said, to do so would be negligent vis a vis their client. Whatever you or I think about the UK libel laws (and I'm of roughly the same opinion as Unity), Schillings are dealing with the current law, and their professional obligation to their client.

Tim said...

I take your point over what Schillings will and won't do because of their position with the client, but Schillings are also dealing with a publicity disaster, and already appeared to have stepped beyond their remit in order to speculate that perhaps Fasthosts' actions could be explained by a 'technical hitch'.

If there were any details they could legally disclose that ensured the spotlight was on Fasthosts rather than them or their client, surely they would have disclosed them by now.


Captain Kirkham said...

I think that you possibly overestimate the PR imagination of most lawyers, even libel lawyers. They probably also don't have the first fucking clue about blogging and the modern nature of the internet, and what might happen if they tried to shut down and well read and well informed blogger. Since I spent time when I was a lawyer explaining to various senior partners how to create a new Word document, believe me when I say that they are not the most up to date of folks. The thing here is that both sides of this battle are dealing with opponents who are entirely out of their sphere of experience.

Tim said...

Point taken. (But Schillings would do well to stop bragging how good they are at this whole Interwebs thing if that is the case.)

Póló said...

Beautiful piece of reporting on the reporters. I hope the tax authorities sting them for benefit in kind. It is a form of remuneration after all.

Funny thing. I can't bring up Fasthost's blog anymore:

Have they abandoned the blog or blocked my IP address or what?

I had left a few not very nice comments over the last week!

Maybe I should get into my safety suit in case my computer explodes.