One of the advantages of having an image in your sidebar hosted at Tim Ireland's site is that when it comes back up, the image reappears to tell you. Bloggerheads itself has a holding page, he needs to reconfigure the database, but he's got a blogger hosted temporary site all about The Alisher Usmanov Affair and today he's specifically requesting a response from Fasthosts:
To ensure we broadcast as clear a picture as possible, Clive and I need to deal with this matter by addressing the parties/issues involved in the following order:

- Fasthosts
- Schillings
- Alisher Usmanov
- UK libel law

Today, we begin with Fasthosts.
The Fasthosts issue is a contractual/specific libel case one, that I'm not involved in, I have however removed them from my potential list of companies to rent a server from (I am looking) in the meantime, pending their response. The libel law is where my obvious interest lies, the law can, and should be, reformed, and this may be the cause celebre to get it done, we shall see. in the meantime, Chris Applegate asks:
I figured an article that doesn’t mention the allegations specifically but still discusses them is better than no article at all. But in the light of reading all the blog coverage of this now, I have my doubts: Am I right, or have I cowardly compromised? Your thoughts are welcome.
Personally, I think he was correct to be cautious. Craig Murray, by all accounts, thinks he has a solid case and welcomes the opportunity to test it in court, Schillings/Usmanov seem to want to quash the story but not actually sue (that's my big issue with the law as is, money can suppress a story by threat of legal action). But those not party to the evidence itself need to be circumspect--I have reason to believe Craig may be correct, but I have no plans on going to court over his story. Giving coverage to the action, but not the details of the story itself, seems to me to be a valid compromise.
K, briefly, something very serious, but I need to follow it up properly. Read this:
Chicken Yoghurt » Public Service Announcement - Craig Murray, Tim Ireland, Boris Johnson, Bob Piper...
Then go on to read these
Ministry of Truth » Blog Archive » Wealth (n). Impunity.
The Devil's Kitchen: Directing action against UK libel laws

The US allows for hosts to be covered by, amongst other things, common carrier status. The UK doesn't. I've mentioned the stupidity of the UK libel laws before. But for Tim's business, and the websites of two completely unrelated well known professional clients to be simply taken down because Fasthosts appear to be running scared? That's not good.

I suspect a change to the law will be needed. Scarily, wouldn't take much, especially if someone like Boris Johnson is already directly involved. Might want a letter writing/emailing campaign. More to follow.
Y'know how sometimes a story is both very depressing and something that will only make you angry so you avoid following it? I haven't been folowing the Iran/Sailors thing, because, well, all sides are stretching the truth past breaking point and it'll just depress me. A few aspects were bothering me though. [livejournal.com profile] fridgemagnet (who may be a little to my left) links to two articles by [livejournal.com profile] craigmurray (who really doesn't like the current Govt but does have some knowledge of the legality). Summary:
  1. There is no legally recognised maritime boundary between Iran and Iraq
  2. Iran does not recognise the boundary that Blair is claiming
  3. The Allies know this
So, both sides are sabre rattling, both sides are obfuscating and telling porkies, both sides are playing to their domestic galleries and world opinion rather than actually being honest.

My understanding is that the event happened very close to the border Britain claims, but that that border still puts them closer to Iran than Iraq, or, as Craig puts it:
Go on, print out the map and measure it.
Everyone has an axe to grind. No one is in the right. Don't believe the hype.

I now go back to trying to ignore this story. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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